A new nationwide scam involving Venmo is making the rounds, one that could impact on your finances and credit score.
While electronic bank account and credit card scams have been around for a long time, peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo are a relatively new invention.
Law enforcement and Venmo have both issued warnings to the public about this new Venmo scam- including phishing attempts via text messages, known as Smishing- a portmanteau of “SMS” (short message services, better known as texting, and “phishing.”).
How the Venmo scam works:
- A scammer, while sounding like a legitimate company, reaches out to the unsuspecting victim and convinces them that something is wrong with their account.
- The fraudster tricks the victim into giving up their account credentials, sending money or some other type of harmful activity.
Many people choose to use Venmo as the app oallows you to make retail or restaurant purchases and to also pay another individual simply by having an account. You might split the cost of dinner with a friend or pay someone back for buying your Broadway ticket when they purchased theirs. The concept is that it is more convenient than cash and incurs a much lesser fee than do many online payment methods.
How to avoid being scammed (or minimize potential financial damage):
- Avoid auto login.
- Use multi-factor authentication.
- Use a credit card.
Should you receive an account issue notification, take the time to ensure you are actually dealing with Venmo.
If you believe you have been scammed in this manner and cannot achieve resolution through Venmo or your banking institution, contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Compaint Center (IC3).
BNI Operatives; situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.