BBB warns of Venmo scam

National News
BBB Better Business Bureau

(WEHT) — The Better Business Bureau is warning people about a scam involving money sent through platforms like Venmo, Apple Pay and Zelle.

The BBB says users could get a message saying something like “Oops! Can you send that back?” and when the user checks his or her balance history, they find several hundred dollars sent from a person they don’t know.

The BBB says to not return the money because scammers can connect stolen credit cards to Venmo and use them to transfer money to unsuspecting users.

If you send the money back to the scammer, the BBB says the scammer will delete the stolen credit card from their account and add their own card in its place. Then, the money you are sending will go on to their personal card. Eventually, the stolen funds will be removed from your account, and you will be out that money.

The BBB offers the following tips to protect yourself:

  • Use money transfer with friends: Protect yourself from scams by only using money transfer apps for their intended purpose — sending money to people you personally know. 
  • If someone sends you money by mistake, ask them to cancel the transaction: The sender can request that the vendor cancel the transaction. If the person refuses, it’s probably a scam.
  • Enable additional security settings: Check your account settings to see if you can turn on additional security measures, such as multi-factor authentication, requiring a PIN, or using fingerprint recognition.
  • 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.

More information from the BBB is available here.

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(This story was originally published on April 22, 2020)

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