Venmo is a peer-to-peer payment app that allows you to pay as well as receive money from family and friends. Is Venmo safe? As convenient as Venmo is, using it does come with certain risks. The biggest risk, of course, is falling victim to various Venmo scammers and hackers. Read on to learn about some common Venmo scams as well as how to avoid falling victim to Venmo hackers.
Scams on Venmo to Watch Out For
How do Venmo scams work? Here are some of the common Venmo scams out there. Familiarize yourself with these so you can avoid falling for such scams.
Venmo texting scam
This is a variation of the standard phishing scam called smishing. Hackers send a text message containing a compromised link that leads to a website where hackers could harvest any information you enter.
Fake Sale Scam
Scammers will send payment via Venmo. Once the item has been shipped, they contact Venmo to reverse the payment. The worst part is that you may not get help from Venmo in this case since Venmo is not supposed to be used for such transactions.
In-Person Venmo Scam
One common example of this scam is a stranger borrowing your phone to supposedly contact someone. They will then proceed to transfer money to their Venmo account.
Some scammers may pretend to be a friend or relative and ask for money. There are also the so-called romance scams where people you met and got into a relationship with online turn out to be scammers just after your money.
Some scammers supposedly sent money to your account by mistake and asked you to send the money back to them. The money could turn out to be stolen from someone else.
Ways to Avoid Getting Hacked on Venmo
Scammers and hackers seem to have endless tricks up their sleeves. It is, therefore, crucial to stay vigilant in all your online activities and transactions. This includes digital payment or money transfer apps like Venmo.
Here are some things you can do or observe to keep your Venmo safer from hackers:
Use a Strong Password
A strong password is a crucial layer of protection for an account. This is especially the case when it comes to money-sharing apps like Venmo.
Use a unique password that contains a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, take note that the longer your password, the harder it is for hackers to crack.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
It’s a great practice to enable or set up two-factor or multi-factor authentication for your online accounts. It is especially helpful for accounts containing sensitive information or important data. 2FA is another layer of protection that hackers must go through which makes your Venmo account safer.
Enable Thumbprint Option for Transactions
There is an option on Venmo that requires your thumbprint before a transaction could go through. This could be enabled on the settings menu. This feature is a great way to stop in-person Venmo scams.
Carefully Check Transaction Details
Always double-check and even triple-check every detail before sending money on Venmo. Remember that a transaction can’t be reversed. If you are uncertain of any detail, check in with the person you’re sending the money. Also, keep in mind that Venmo is not meant for transacting with strangers. This means that although you can still report fraudulent transactions to Venmo and the authorities, Venmo is not bound to help you retrieve your money.
Link Credit Cards Instead of Debit Cards
It’s wiser to link a credit card account to your Venmo or any money-sharing app for that matter. Credit cards have more security measures in place including tracking fraudulent transactions.
Notifications could be rather irritating. However, when it comes to apps connected to your finances, like Venmo, it’s best to enable all notifications. This will help you keep track of all activities on your account and more easily get wind of suspicious transactions.
Always Log Out
Many people keep their accounts logged in on their smartphones. Take note that logging out of your Venmo is as important as having a strong, unique password. You should, therefore, make it a habit to officially log out or sign out of your Venmo account instead of just swiping out the app after every transaction.
How to Report Venmo Scams
Victims of Venmo scams have limited options or the ability to recover any lost money or merchandise. This is especially so if you were scammed while performing a business transaction with strangers. Take note that Venmo is a peer-to-peer payment app and is not meant to be used for online business transactions like selling or buying something from strangers.
Of course, you can and should still report any fraudulent transactions to Venmo. Send your concern to [email protected] or call their customer support number.
If you believe that your sensitive information has been compromised, you can file an identity theft report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You should also immediately check in with your banks and/or credit card providers. You can also order or request your credit report to check for unusual activities. Make sure to look for any unauthorized credit card applications or loans.
Venmo is as safe as such apps could be. Be vigilant in making every transaction and observe measures to keep your Venmo account secure and your funds safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can your Venmo account be hacked?
Unfortunately, your Venmo account, like any other online account, is not a hundred percent safe from hackers. As a money-sharing app, Venmo is a target for hackers and scammers.
Can you be scammed on Venmo?
Yes, if you are not careful enough, you can get scammed on Venmo. There are various Venmo scams including in-person scams, fake sale scams, phishing and smishing, and more.
How secure is Venmo?
Venmo is secure as such apps go. It uses bank-level encryption and has various features in place to help keep your account safe. You can also take some measures like creating a strong password and enabling 2FA to make your account more secure.
What is the safest way to pay someone online?
Using money-sharing or digital payment apps could be safe enough if you take the necessary measures. Using a credit card is also a safer and more secure way since credit cards have multiple safety features in place such as encryption and fraud monitoring.