It may happen that we have forgotten our wallet at home or we will send money to a friend or relative. Venmo is an easy way to do it. However, this platform, like many others, is used to scam unsuspecting victims, and that is when we wonder if Venmo will refund our money if we are scammed.
Since scams are common using this payment platform, we must be vigilant to avoid falling into these criminal networks. And we must 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 scammer will give themselves away, and we will realize that they are not being honest, so we will have to walk away from the transaction if we are suspicious.
However, other scammers will know what to say to gain our trust and learn how to use the system to make a profit. Among the most common Venmo scams will be:
Purchasing items with a stolen credit card.
The Internet is where we can find great ease for selling personal items, and the transfer of money is 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 transaction was completed but 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If the money is still in our Venmo account, it will be withdrawn, and they will not pay for the goods sold. But, if we have already withdrawn the money, we will be responsible for returning it.
It is a method usually used by fraudsters to get another user’s account information. In these cases, the scammer will send a message using the company’s fonts and colors to simulate that the message is authentic.
This message will ask 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.
Some bolder scammers will steal our money in person; in these cases, some random person will approach us and ask us to use our cell phone. In these cases, they may tell a story about their car breaking down and their cell phone dying.
In these cases, the scammer will pretend we are making a call, and if no one answers, they will ask us 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.
In case of money mysteriously appears in our Venmo account, we should be 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 to return the money.
The problem is that Venmo will eventually discover the scam once the original victim contacts the bank to report the fraudulent activity. In these cases, all money linked to the fraudulent activity is 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 in error, the sender might ask Venmo for help changing the transaction, so it is best to leave the money in our account so that it can be recovered without affecting our balance.
How can we identify a scam?
Venmo scams are not so easy to identify, although some signs may suggest they are trying to take advantage of you. These may include:
- Someone is looking to appear trustworthy.
- Sob stories.
- Offers that offer a generous financial incentive.
Scammers will always seek to gain the trust of their victims by appealing to their emotions, so always keep your guard up to avoid problems.
Recommendations to avoid being scammed at Venmo
To avoid any scam, Venmo does not yet offer any protection; we should report fraudulent activity so that the platform can warn other customers. We should also take some measures to protect our account, such as:
- Multifactor authentication will allow us to send a code to verify login from other devices.
- Do not sell products on Venmo: when selling products, we will be dealing with people we do not know. For this reason, it is best to use other platforms such as PayPal that offer buyer protection.
- 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 doubt the message is genuine, it is best to enter directly to the website without clicking on any link.
- No one should use our phone: do not give our phone to any stranger who approaches you. If they require us to send a text message, we should do it independently and not hand over our phone.
- Leave the money in our account: if we receive money from an unknown sender, it is best to leave it in the account because if the balance comes from a stolen credit card and we make the return, then we will have to answer for that money.
Can Venmo refund me the money from a scam?
It will depend on each case because if the scam is related to payments made with a stolen credit card, it is very likely that 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.
It is a service that allows us to transfer money between people who know each other, so paying people we don’t know has its risks. If we have been scammed by stealing our bank details or in some sale we made, we can probably ask for our money back. But, if we were involved in fraudulent activity and we give money to a scammer, the platform will not be able to recover it.