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Beware of the Venmo / Zelle / Cash App Scam

How the Scam Works:

The scam typically begins with a notification that you’ve received a payment from an unknown sender. The message, often accompanied by a note from the sender, claims that the transfer was a mistake. In a rush to rectify the situation, the scammer requests that you return the money immediately.

However, the catch is that the original transaction is fraudulent or made with a stolen credit card. Once you send your own money back, the initial transaction is reversed or canceled, and you’re left out of pocket.

Here’s what you should do:

DO NOT TRANSFER ANY MONEY BACK: If you suspect the initial transfer into your account was made with a stolen credit card, do not send any money back to the sender. Transferring funds could result in a loss if the original transaction is reversed.

Cease Communication: Immediately stop responding to any messages from the sender. Scammers may use persuasive or manipulative tactics to get you to act against your best interest.

Block the Sender: Use Venmo’s feature to block the user. This will prevent them from sending you more payment requests or messages and protect you from further scam attempts.

Do Not Share Personal Information: If the scammer has already communicated with you, ensure you do not share any personal information, such as your banking details, Social Security number, or even your full name and address.

Report the User to Venmo: Along with reporting the suspicious transaction, also report the user’s account. Provide all relevant details to help Venmo take appropriate action against the scammer’s account.

Keep Records of Communication: Before you block the user, ensure you have screenshots of all previous communications. This can serve as evidence if there’s an investigation or if you need to report the incident to authorities.

Inform Your Contacts: If the scammer has any information about your contacts or has interacted with them, inform your contacts about the scam. This will prevent the scammer from scamming others in your network.

Stay Vigilant for Future Scams: Often, scammers might attempt to contact you from different accounts or platforms. Stay alert for any suspicious activity and report it immediately.

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