With over 75 million users, Venmo is a scammer’s paradise. Whether paying your bill or buying something from an online marketplace, you share your sensitive information with the platform. Scammers can easily access it in various ways. If you fall victim to these frauds, it’s advisable to report Venmo scammers immediately.
Venmo is a convenient peer-to-peer (P2P) payment app that makes money sending and receiving easier. The company has taken many security measures to secure your information, but they are insufficient. It’s vital to know how to spot and report Venmo scammers to protect yourself and other users’ accounts.
Typical scams include fraudulent emails, fake payments, paper checks, and catfishing, among others. Unfortunately, you can’t get a refund after reporting these scams on Venmo, especially when the amount has reached the receiver. Let’s look at common Venmo scams, how to report Venmo scammers, and file your complaint. So, let’s dive in without further ado.
8 Common Venmo Scammer Strategies
Before learning to report Venmo scammers, you must know how to identify one. Scammers will try to pull all kinds of tricks on you so you can send them money. Remember, scammers are pretty active on Venmo, so you should be cautious about them when transacting.
Below are some commonly-occurring Venmo scams that you should be aware of:
1. Money Increasing Offers
The most prominent fraud on Venmo is when a criminal asks you to send them a specific amount of money, promising to give you a larger amount in return. For example, they may ask for $250 and claims to send $2,500 back within a week. Such scams are popular as pyramid schemes, money circles, and cash wheels.
These frauds can be requested from someone you know or a stranger. The worst part? You can never get your money back. Thus, you must avoid anyone claiming to double or “flip” your money in exchange for some funds.
Any offer that seems too good to be true is a major red flag! So, use your common sense, and stay away from them to avoid learning how to report Venmo scammers.
2. Accidental Money Transfer
Sometimes, an accidental money transfer is not a mistake. Instead, it’s an example of a high-end classical con to trick users into sending money to the criminal’s personal account. The scammer might use a stolen bank account or credit card to send you a particular amount. Later, they send a message: “Oops, that was by mistake. Can you please send the money back?” Once you transfer the money back, it goes into the fraudster’s account.
When the actual cardholder reaches their credit card provider about the issue, the bank reverses the transaction, and the money goes back into their account. This means the stolen money will also be deducted from your account. As a result, you lose money and can’t even get it back like the credit card holder.
The best way to avoid such scams is to block the user when you receive a random payment. You must also report this issue to Venmo’s customer service and request the representatives to cancel the transaction. Ensure you avoid direct contact with such users and never reply to their messages.
3. A Fake Link Asking for Money
You may also receive texts or emails asking for money, which typically look like official notifications from Venmo. They contain a fake link with a free money offer or a quick survey for some reward. The purpose is to trick you into clicking the link. Such scams are popular as smishing.
When you click on the link, you will be directed to a fake Venmo page that steals your sensitive information without knowing. The good thing is that you can quickly identify this scam by closely observing the link.
If any email or message seems suspicious, never click on it. Instead, visit Venmo’s official page, log in to your account, and double-check if the message is authentic.
4. Fake Payments
Criminals can also make fake payments for your services or products. In fact, they even provide you with payment details through emails or bank information. Some scammers also pay with stolen credit cards, while others may manipulate you into believing the payment will reach you once you send or ship the product.
Therefore, you must verify the buyer before doing business with them. Also, only use Venmo to exchange money with trustable people, especially when making payments with your credit card.
You should also exchange the product with money from the buyer simultaneously. It will be even better if it takes place in person at a public location.
5. Sending Paper Checks
Sending paper checks is another common scam on Venmo. The fraudster sends fake checks to the victim on online shopping platforms, which are more valuable than the item. Later, they ask the victim to transfer the check to their Venmo account.
The check is supposed to clear when you cash it in the bank, but it won’t. This scam works the same way as gift card scams. You can avoid fraud by ignoring those messages asking you to swap paper checks for money. Instead, ask the sender to simultaneously exchange the item and the cash, preferably in person.
6. Messages for Prepayment
Some fraudsters list rare or high-ticket items cheaply online. If you show interest in any product, they will ask you to pay for it through Venmo.
You can guess what happens once you make the transaction. Yes, the item never reaches your doorstep. The criminal also sends a fake message with shipping screenshots showing that the item was delivered. But the reality is quite the opposite.
To report Venmo scammers who trick you this way, you should prevent anything that seems too good to be true. It is also a good practice to ask for videos and photos from the seller before buying.
7. Impersonating Someone You Know
Many scammers also impersonate someone you know and ask for money. They may also steal a real person’s profile, including their picture and username, and use their public feed to access others. These imposters then send follow requests to your acquaintances or friends.
You can avoid these scams by declining requests for urgent payments. Remember that some scammers disguise themselves as Venmo support and lure victims into opening a fake webpage. This website will appear on the search engine as “Venmo customer service.”
Once you click on it, you’ll have to call the fake phone number. An identity thief will be present on the other side, aiming to steal your money or Venmo account. First, they will ask for your login information. Then, they might request you to pay for the services by transferring money to another Venmo account.
You can prevent such Venmo scams by only visiting the company’s official customer service page. Venmo recommends entering the website into your browser instead of searching for the page on a search engine. You can also click on the “Get Help” feature on the Venmo app to reach the official department.
Remember, Venmo’s tech support never asks for your credentials. So, don’t pay anything for the exchange or share your sensitive information on the call.
8. Love Bombing or Catfishing
Catfishing or love bombing is another common scam on Venmo. With this type, the fraudster earns your trust and tricks you to send money. They are similar to romance scams popular on social media websites or dating apps. First, the criminal initiates a relationship with the victim and then asks for urgent money through Venmo.
The urgency could be anything, from the plane ticket, concert pass, hotel room, or a loan for business emergencies. You can easily prevent and report Venmo scammers by simply avoiding transacting money to strangers, including your online lovers.
You must also prevent providing loans or sharing your Venmo credentials with strangers. Such scams not only affect you emotionally but also make your account susceptible to wire or bank fraud.
How To Report Venmo Scammers
Now that you know the common scams on Venmo, it’s time for practical work. If you suspect you’re scammed on Venmo, you must take necessary actions swiftly. Your first step is to report this activity to customer support. Here is how the entire Venmo scammer reporting process will go:
Step 1: Forward Suspicious Emails To Customer Support
Email phishing is a common scam on Venmo. If you receive any suspicious email asking for money in exchange for something, ignore it. You can report it to Venmo customer service quickly by forwarding such emails to [email protected].
Step 2: Send Screenshots of Texts To Customer Support
If the fraud is committed via text messages, you must take screenshots and send them to [email protected]. The concerned representatives will immediately act against the scammer to ensure other users’ security.
Step 3: Take Screenshots of Fraudulent Calls
You can report Venmo scammers who make fraudulent telephone calls. If you receive such calls, immediately take a screenshot and send it to [email protected]. Open the Venmo app on your phone and choose “Get Help” to connect with a representative.
Things To Do When Reporting Venmo Scammers
Keep the following things in mind when reporting Venmo scammers to protect your account and private information:
- Change your Venmo account password to something strong.
- Always inform your Venmo’s verified bank about the scam.
- Reporting suspicious activities to Venmo is critical. You will first have to email Venmo’s customer service at [email protected]. You should also submit Venmo’s contact form or contact the representatives through the online chat.
- If Venmo fraud includes a company, always file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Your attempts to report Venmo scammers are more likely to fail as the company doesn’t issue refunds in fraudulent cases. Once the money is sent, you can’t retrieve it unless the receiver issues a refund.
While that’s a bummer, it’s important to up your guard on Venmo and report suspicious emails to their customer service. After all, you don’t want another user to endure the same harrowing experience, right?
Venmo’s customer support investigates scams and takes appropriate action. Meanwhile, you must change your login credentials and inform your bank as a precautionary measure.
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