Let’s say we forgot our wallet and want to send money to a friend or relative. Venmo is an easy way to do it. However, this platform, like many others, is being used to scam unsuspecting victims. This scenario makes us wonder if Venmo will refund our money if we are scammed.
Since scams are common using this payment platform, we must be alert to avoid falling into these criminal networks. We must also know how to act in case of any possible Venmo scam.
What are the most common Venmo scams?
There are many forms of Venmo scams, and some potential scammers will be easier to identify than others. Often, the scammers will give themselves away, and we will realize that they are not being honest and need to walk away from the transaction if we become suspicious.
However, other scammers will know what to say to gain our trust and how to use the system to make a profit. Among the most common Venmo scams are the following:
Purchasing items with a stolen credit card.
The Internet makes for a suitable medium to sell personal items, and money transfers are very easy, thanks to platforms like Venmo. This type of scam usually develops as follows:
- The scammer will respond to our ad and express their intention to pay with Venmo.
- They will send payment and pick up the item shortly after that.
- The seller believes the completed transaction was legitimate when it was funded with a stolen credit card or banking information.
- Venmo discovers the fraud and reverses the charges that have been made with the stolen information.
If the money remains in our Venmo account, it will be withdrawn, and the item sold will become unpaid. But, if we have already removed the money, we need to return it.
It is a method usually used by fraudsters to obtain another user’s account information. In this scenario, the scammer will send a message using the company’s fonts and colors to simulate authenticity.
This message will indicate us to follow a link and enter personal information to verify the account. This link leads to a fraudulent site, and if the bank card or account is entered, the scammer will be able to steal our information and use it for fraudulent activities.
Many bolder scammers will steal our money in person. A random person may approach us and ask us to lend them our cell phones. In these cases, they could tell a story about their car breaking down and their cell phone dying.
In this setting, the scammer will ask you to make a fake call, and if no one answers, they will request to send a text message to a friend or family member. Instead of sending a text message, they will open the Venmo app and transfer the funds from our account to theirs.
If money mysteriously appears in our Venmo account, we should become suspicious. Scammers may send money using a stolen credit card or bank account number, then send a message saying the payment was a mistake and ask you to return the money.
The problem is that Venmo will eventually discover the scam once the initial victim contacts the bank to report the fraudulent activity. If this were the case, all money linked to the fraudulent activity would be recovered.
If we refund the money to the scammer before Venmo reverses the transaction, we are on the hook for the funds. If the money was sent by mistake, the sender might ask Venmo for help changing the transaction, so it is best to leave the money in our account until it can be recovered without affecting our real balance.
How can we identify a scam?
Venmo scams are not so easy to identify, although some signs may suggest someone is trying to take advantage of you. These may include:
- Someone is striving to appear trustworthy.
- Sob stories.
- An offer of a generous financial incentive.
Scammers will always strive to gain their victims’ trust by appealing to their emotions, so always keep your guard up to avoid problems.
Recommendations to avoid being scammed at Venmo
To avoid scams, Venmo does not yet offer any protection; we should report fraudulent activity so that the platform can warn other customers. We should also take measures to protect our account, such as:
- Multifactor authentication will allow us to send a code to verify logins from other devices.
- Do not sell products on Venmo: when selling products, we deal with strangers. For this reason, it is best to use other platforms that offer buyer protection, such as PayPal.
- Do not click on links requesting information: if we receive a text message or email requesting personal data, we should ignore it. Venmo will never ask us for this type of information by these means; if we become suspicious of the message, it is best to access the website directly without clicking on any link.
- No one else should use our phone: do not lend our phone to any stranger who approaches you. If they require us to send a text message, we should do it ourselves and never hand over our phone.
- Leave the money in our account: if we receive cash from an unknown sender, it is best to leave it in your Venmo account because if the money comes from a stolen credit card and we make the return, then we will have to restore the amount.
Can Venmo refund me the money from a scam?
It will depend on each case; if the scam is related to payments made with a stolen credit card, likely, we will not be able to get our money back, especially if we fall into the scammers’ traps such as sending mysterious money that may turn out to be fraudulent.
Venmo is a service that allows us to transfer money between people who know each other, so paying strangers will always be risky. If we have been scammed by stealing our bank details or in some item we sold, we can probably ask for our money back. But, if we were involved in fraudulent activity and sent a scammer the money, the platform would not be able to restore it.