As more businesses and individuals are minimizing the use of cash or even touching payment processing devices during the Covid-19 pandemic, peer to peer mobile payment apps such as CashApp and Venmo have become increasingly popular. Unfortunately, also increasing are the cases reported to BBB’s Scam Tracker of app users being targeted by scammers. Better Business Bureau urges consumers to be aware of mobile payment scammers intent on stealing your hard-earned money.
How the scam works
For example, one target recently told BBB Scam Tracker that, after falling for a tech support scam, they were targeted by the con artist to purchase bogus software through CashApp. Another victim tried to buy concert tickets from a seller who claimed to only accept CashApp payments. “I did not know what that was at the time,” wrote the victim. “I was told I could cancel the transaction at any time. I sent the $350.00 for the tickets and was instantly blocked.”
Another common con with CashApp involves fake customer support numbers. People looking for help with their CashApp account often search online for a support phone number, then rather than calling a CashApp representative, they are actually dialing a scammer who posted the phony number online.
Under the guise of helping fix an issue with the app, the con artist tricks callers into sharing their log in information. After which the con artist drains the victim’s CashApp account. In other cases, the scammers trick victims into sending them money or installs malware on their smartphones.
One victim told BBB.org/ScamTracker she dialed a CashApp support phone number she found online, hoping to get help processing a refund. The CashApp “representative” claimed that the caller needed to “set up a dummy account” in CashApp and send them the balance of the other account. “I asked her for the reason for this. The response given was this is how their system works and for me not to worry because the money was not leaving my account; it was only appearing to do so,” the victim wrote. “Despite my own doubts, I proceeded as requested.” The victim ended up losing more than $300 to this “support rep.”
“Use extreme caution when working with peer to peer money transferring apps,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas said. “They are essentially another form of wiring money, which sends funds instantly with little chance of recovery or reversal.”
How to protect yourself when paying with CashApp:
No one representing Cash App will ever ask for your sign-in code over the phone or on social media. CashApp support will also never ask for payment or sensitive information, such as your full bank account information.
Be skeptical of any business that requires CashApp payments. If a company claims to only accept CashApp and/or prepaid debit card payments, be very wary. This is a red flag of a scam.
Double-check information before sending money. Verify the recipient’s name, CashApp handle, and information before sending them money.
Link your money transfer app to a credit card. As with many other purchases, using a credit card will help protect you if you don’t get the goods or services you paid for. Linking to a debit card or directly to your bank account does not give you that added protection.
If you wish to speak with a CashApp representative go directly through their site or call 855-351-2274.
For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call BBB at 903-581-5704 or report it via BBB ScamTracker.
About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. There are over 100 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central East Texas, which was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.