By Michael B. Cohen
Vice President of Global Operations
Many of us can hardly remember what it was like paying for things before peer-to-peer online financial services. Although these online tools make shopping more convenient, the number of PayPal, Venmo and Cash App scams is on the rise.
One Cash App scam victim, a Milwaukee woman named Karen Brimley-Massey, put it aptly when she said the online payment was “convenient but risky.” Modern consumers love the convenience and speed of online transactions, but dread the possibility of getting hacked and having their accounts cleared out by cyber criminals.
Unfortunately, Karen Brimley-Massey can testify firsthand about what it’s like to see money drain out of an account through a Cash App scam. She told Fox 6 Milwaukee, “My phone kept dinging…$200…$200…$200 is coming out of my account.”
Within minutes, the crypto app scammers siphoned money out of her account through separate transactions that went to phony accounts and accomplices.
Since Brimley-Massey used Cash App primarily as a convenient way to transfer money to her daughters, the fraudsters made fake accounts in her daughters’ names, in some cases not even spelling them correctly and using fake photos they found on Facebook.
Since the names, with all of their errors, were associated with past transactions Brimley-Massey made, Cash App considered the charges as authorized, despite the Cash App scam victim’s protestations otherwise. Brimley-Massey says she is disappointed that Cash App didn’t seem to acknowledge what had happened and, without looking at her case closely, closed it because the funds were transferred to what appeared to be her authorized recipients.
In the end, Karen Brimley-Massey lost $2,000 to Cash App scammers in just a few minutes. After that they managed to hack into her savings account and started to drain money from it until her credit union put a stop to the withdrawals.
How Common Are Cash App Scams?
In spite of, or perhaps because of, the popularity of Cash App, the number of Cash App scams continues to grow. It is estimated that 11% of PayPal, Venmo and Cash App users have their accounts hacked. That is an alarming number. Added to that, 13% of payment platform users have admitted to sending money to a recipient that later turned out to be fraudulent.
Despite the fact that we probably know someone personally who has been a target of payment platform hacking, people aren’t going to give up using these services any time soon. Presumably, the convenience is worth the risk or many people simply think it isn’t going to happen to them.
If you, like most people, want to continue enjoying fast and efficient online payment but want to avoid having your account hacked or losing your money to a Cash App scam, follow these tips to keep your money safe online
Verify the True Identity of the Recipient
You may think you know who you are sending money to, for instance, a client or a relative, but keep in mind that Cash App scammers like to clone people’s accounts. Verify all information beforehand. For instance, names might be spelled incorrectly or photos could be wrong or omitted.
Don’t Share Sensivite Information
One sign of a Cash App scam is that it will ask you to provide sensitive information. However, payment platforms won’t ask you for your Social Security number or other highly sensitive information, unless you are linking a credit card or bank account. In this case, they will never reveal the full account number on the screen.
Beware of Phishing
Cash App will never send you an email or a text message asking you to verify your account. If you aren’t sure whether a message from a payment platform is genuine, check directly with their support team to confirm if something like this was sent. Cash App scams will phish your data and will try to get you to click on a link.
Use Additional Security Features
Many payment platforms allow users to upgrade account security with extra features such as two-factor authentication or fingerprint recognition. It may be worth adding these security features to keep your money safe from Cash App scams.
MyChargeBack Will Investigate Your Crypto Case
If you have lost money on the blockchain through unregulated brokers, bitcoin wallet hacking or fake merchants, talk to the MyChargeBack team. Our crypto investigations will provide evidence to bolster your claim.
MyChargeBack has developed working relationships with law enforcement agencies worldwide and can improve your prospects of getting your funds back.