By any reckoning, the post-pandemic Age is upon us. As folk let go of cash, you find that you can pay for anything without using your wallet. Venmo and other money transfer apps have become especially handy. Unfortunately, along with the ease of use, Venmo comes with a fair share of risk. To shield your private and financial information, look out for common Venmo scams that could have you and your funds susceptible to scammers.
Per common sense, Venmo is safe as long as the proper precautions are taken. Besides encrypting your financial info and transactions, Venmop presents other security layers like PIN numbers and multi-factor authentication, making it more tricky for scammers to access your account. All diverse security features ought to be updated to let your security stay safe.
There’s one conspicuous disadvantage to using Venmo. Dissimilar to credit/debit cards, which presents financial protection for consumers in the event of fraud/theft, Venmo and such digital payment services treat money more like cash. It is close to impossible to recoup the loss once the money has been transferred to a scammer.
On the lookout for Venmo scams
First things first. Scammers are sneaky and frequently persuasive. However, the scams they perpetrate have certain common patterns that make for identification. We discuss some of the most commonplace ones.
Offers that speak of increasing your wealth
In one rather run-of-the-mill Venmo scam, a scammer might ask you to remit them a small amount of money, enabling you to get a larger amount in return. For instance, they may vouchsafe that provided you send them GBP 200, you will stand to receive GBP 2000 in a week. The scam has several monikers, among them ‘money circle,’ ‘cash wheel,’ ‘pyramid scheme.’ If the request comes from a stranger or even someone you know, it is very much possible you will never see your money again. If it is too good to be true, it most likely is.
Getting a random Venmo transfer is not always a genuine mistake. Scammers frequently use his ‘high tech twist to a classic con’ to inveigle you into giving them money. The scammer might use a stolen credit card or bank account number to transfer several hundred dollars to your account, subsequently sending you a message asking if you could send the amount again. The money you remit gets sent to the scammer’s personal card, and your account is minus the stolen funds.
Asking for money with a fake link
Stay alert as regards unsolicited emails and fake Venmo notifications. These smishing scams may inveigle you into punching a hidden link in a text message. Whereas the text may originally come from a legit Venmo account, the link will transport you to a fake Venmo login page. The page will steal your user data when you try to log in.
Selling to strangers
Please undertake a buyer verification when you sell something on Venmo. You may be trucking with con men, in which case you have no legit funds as payment. To persuade you that the funds are in your account.
- They could send you screenshots of fake emails,
- Pay you with stolen bank information or credit cards, or
- Send you info to the effect that only on uploading of the shipping information (and provided you have already shipped the product) will the payment reach your Venmo account.
Purchasing from a stranger
Another commonplace scam utilises uses popular or hard-to-find products like electronics or concert tickets. The scammer may demand you to pay them thru Venmo and subsequently never send the product. Notwithstanding that they may share fake screenshots or shipping information to make it appear as if the ordered product was dispatched, in reality they fled with your money. There are times when you have to avoid making payments from your credit card. Also, most of the time, considering you are trucking with folk you trust, you may use Venmo. In other words, if you are doing business with folk, you don’t know or are unsure of, abstain from using Venmo at such times.
The pretended friend asking for money
Prior to accepting a payment request from a friend, scrutinise their profile. Specific scammers might create profiles that impersonate folks. These guys are not above filching usernames and profile pictures of intended victims. These people will send requests for money to all those they have associated with in the past. If the requests sound awkward and pushy, ignore such requests.
Conduct your transactions only with folk you know and trust. That’s the surefire way to purge Venmo of even a shadow of scams. Venmo scam may be sidestepped also by reaching out personally to the other party. Always double-check buyer/seller profiles. Studiously ignoring dubious links sent to you thru texts and emails will keep your Venmo transactions among the best tips for buying and selling.