Afraid of using Venmo because you’ve heard horror stories about Venmo scams? No need to fear! Learning more about the common tricks and schemes that scammers use in order to steal your money helps you recognize when they’re targeting you. Be alert and know what to look out for so that you can use Venmo safely and without fear!
1. “Accidentally” sending you money
Ever received a random Venmo transfer? It could just be an honest mistake that happens when someone uses the search function and sends money to you instead of their friend with the same name.
Beware – it could also be a scam! A scammer could send you stolen or fraudulent money and pretend that it was by accident. The scammer could then ask you to send that money back to them. You would send them money back from your card, but the stolen money that they sent to your bank is still in your bank. Law enforcement would then remove those stolen funds from your bank account, since it was sent to you.
Additionally, beware of this same scam from an account pretending to be a friend of yours. Sometimes scammers will steal someone’s picture and name so that they can message their friends for more credibility. If a friend is urgently requesting Venmo payment or seems to have accidentally sent you money, make sure that’s their account. You can also text, email, or meet up with your friend to check with them that it’s their Venmo request.
2. Call pretending to be tech support
First of all – tech support shouldn’t call you! You should be calling tech support. Be wary when using a search engine like Google or Bing to find a company’s phone number since a scam phone number might be listed instead. What you should do is look up the company’s website, go to their contact section, and find their phone number there.
If tech support is trying to instruct you to pay for their services through Venmo, it’s very likely to be a scam! Most tech support is offered for free so that you continue to use the company’s product or service.
3. Offers to make money fast
Have you ever been told that if you send someone $100, they’ll send you $1,000 back in a week? This is a scam! It goes by many names: pyramid scheme, money circle, cash wheel. It’s all the same, whether it’s a friend or a stranger. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
4. Romance scam
Have you fallen in love with someone online? Do they often beg for money that they say will be used for plane tickets, hotel rooms, or investment opportunities? It’s a scam and you’re probably being catfished with a fake profile. Be wary when you haven’t met someone in person and they’re already begging for money!
5. Paper check scam
Don’t exchange a check for a payment on Venmo! Is someone asking if they can give you $200 in a check for a $150 dollar item so that you can Venmo the extra $50 to their account later? It’s a scam. The check might clear at first, but it will bounce later, as it’s fraudulent. You would then have to repay your bank the fraudulent amount and you would have lost $50!
6. Call pretending to be Venmo
Is a Venmo employee calling you out of the blue? Red flag.
Here are some things Venmo will never do:
- Ask you to send money to verify your account
- Ask you to send money to someone on Cashapp or another platform
- Ask you to install a third party app
- Ask you for your verification code
- Ask to have remote access to your device
- Create an account for you
Have you received a strange email or text asking you to click on a link and put in your Venmo account information? Beware, that’s a scam too! That survey promising $100 if you type in your information to Venno.com (notice the typo) is only trying to steal your account info. Venmo.com and the Venmo app are the only places you should put in your Venmo account information or details.
What are some general tips for avoiding Venmo scams?
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably is
- If someone’s trying to pressure you to send money immediately, it’s probably a scam
- Know who you’re dealing with and be wary when doing transactions with strangers
- If something feels off, trust your gut
- Always double check with a friend if you think they may have been hacked or are being impersonated
What should I do if my money was stolen through a Venmo scam?
- Change your Venmo password
- Contact your bank and freeze your cards if you believe their information has been stolen
- Contact Venmo to explain the situation and ask for your money back
- Inform your friends if you’ve been hacked
- Report the scammer if you found them through a third party website
What other resources does Low Income Relief have?
We have plenty of resources here at Low Income Relief. Here’s some that might interest you!
- Click here to learn more about common scams and how to avoid them.
- Click here to read more about Venmo.
- Click here for a ton of ways to save money.
- Click here to learn about getting free stuff.
Prefer watching to reading? You’re in luck! Learn about benefits, discounts, saving money, and getting free stuff at our Low Income Relief YouTube channel!