Scammers Use Venmo to Fool Sellers

  
     
Trying to make some quick cash, need to sale your items online? Be wary of too good to be true online ads.
October 14, 2016

The money transfer app Venmo can come in handy when you need to pay a coworker back for lunch or send money to friend. Just be wary when using the app with someone you don't know. Scammers are exploiting it and scamming sellers. 

How the Scam Works: 

You are selling a big ticket item (such as a computer, tablet, or car) on Craigslist or another online service. You find an interested buyer, and he or she is ready to make the purchase. But rather than pay with cash, the buyer suggests sending money through Venmo. You've used the payment app successfully to transfer money to friends, so you agree. 

At first, everything seems fine. You get an alert from Venmo that the buyer sent the money, so you hand over the item. However, a few days pass, and you notice the funds never appear in your account. 

It turns out you've been scammed. Transfers in Venmo take several days to process. Scammers take advantage of this by setting up transactions and canceling them before they go through. By the time victims realize they’ve never received the money, the scammers are long gone. 

How to Avoid a Venmo Con:

Protect yourself when paying with Venmo by following this advice: 

  • Use Venmo with friends: Protect yourself from scams by only using Venmo for its intended purpose -- sending money to people you personally know. 
  • Link Venmo 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.
  • Check your account to be sure that the money transferred: It takes a few days for Venmo payments to transfer. If you have any concerns that a payer didn't really send the money, be sure to check your account directly. 

For More Information

Learn more about how to protect yourself with using Venmo on their website. Here’s a link to Venmo’s BBB Business Review.

To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).