Complaints in opposition to cell cost apps like Zelle, Venmo surge 300% as customers fall sufferer to more cash scams

Complaints against some digital payment services and apps like Venmo, Cash App, or Cell are soaring, according to a disturbing new report.

Non-Profit Research Group of Public Interest in the United States [PIRG] Major issues include fraud, problems using accounts, and poor customer service. The group analyzed more than 9,200 complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2017 to April 2021.

The report found that more than 2,700 complaints were filed from January to April this year – compared with just over 600 in the same period last year.

Around four out of five Americans use mobile payment apps.

One of them is Luke Krafka, a professional cellist from Long Island, new York. Krafka often plays in concerts with rotating musicians who are usually paid for in cash – and he says mobile pay apps made this task a lot easier.

“Paypal, Venmo, Cash-App, yes. There is no paper, no checks, no waiting,” he told the CBS News Consumer Investigative Correspondence Anna Werner. “You get paid instantly, go to your bank account.”

Trending news

In October 2019 a new customer got in touch to hire him for a wedding.

“It was a normal wedding. And I reached out to my friends who are good for the gig, ”he said.

The customer told him he would send a check for about $ 1,000 for Krafka and another $ 950 to pay for the customer’s “Sound Man” – which he then asked from Krafka via a mobile payment app.

“I said, ‘Look, if you send me the money, it’s not a problem, that’s fine,'” Krafka remembers.

Mobile payment apps allow users to pay others instantly, via Bank accounts or credit cards connected to the app.

Their simplicity is usually a good thing, but not always, as Krafka found out after depositing the wedding clients’ check for $ 1,960.

“I checked the next day and the full amount was in my bank account,” he said.

Then, as requested, he sent the customer’s “soundman” $ 950 via the cell payment app.

“I think it was the next day that the check broke,” he said. “And when that happened, I slowly started putting it all together.”

The people who supposedly hired him stopped answering his calls – and he’d lost the $ 950.

“I said I think I was betrayed,” said Krafka.

PIRG’s report addressed over 9,000 complaints to federal regulators about digital wallets and payment apps, including PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, and Cell.

They found that those filed between January and April this year were more than 300% higher than the same period last year – with many losing money to fraud or fraud.

“If it’s a scammer, he won’t come back,” said Ed Mierzwinski, who oversees the PIRG’s federal consumer program.

Unlike credit or even debit cards, app transactions are instant, Mierzwinski said.

“There are no rules that protect you very well when your money goes from your account to someone else’s account,” he said.

It is especially difficult when the betrayed user initiated the transaction.

Krafka said he reached out to his bank to get the money back but was told they couldn’t help him.

“I was surprised that there was no legal recourse and that when it is finished it is finished and there is nothing more to be done,” said the professional musician.

Cell did not want to comment on Krafka’s case, but said his top priority was “protecting consumers from fraud and fraud”. The company offers a comprehensive list of recommendations on the website so that consumers can protect themselves.

Cash App has a consumer help center online and on their mobile app as well as a 7 day one Customer service phone number, and encourages people, “If you think you may have been a victim of fraud, contact Cash App Support immediately through the app or website.” They also offer articles about recognize and avoid Scam on their website.

Venmo and Paypal are challenging consumers who think they did fallen victim to fraud to “contact customer service directly”. They provide resources on what to look for and how to report it on your website.

“We also recommend that customers get in touch spoof@paypal.com to share information about suspected spam. Our dedicated security team will review the information and take action if necessary, “the company website says.

All of the app companies told CBS News that they are working to stop bad actors and have processes in place to spot scams. They also warn consumers to be vigilant and only send money to people they know – not strangers.

Did somebody unknown ship you cash on Venmo on accident? Do not ship it again instantly

This could be a fraudulent money scam and you could withdraw hundreds of dollars from your bank account.

GRAND RAPIDS, me. – Scammers are finding more ways to get people out of their money. Over the past year, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​has seen an increase in fraud related to apps like Venmo or Cash App.

The last one involves a random, seemingly random, payment to you. That person who sent the money then sends a message that the payment was in error and asks you to send it back. But don’t do that.

“What you don’t realize is you send that money back and that money was never there,” said Troy Baker, director of the BBB Western Michigan Educational Foundation, another payment that is being reversed. “

When you send the money back, it will be debited from your own bank account and the money the scammer sent through Venmo will be debited from your Venmo account. Which means you have a lot of money.

Also, there is no way to get that money back.

“One of the most important things about using Venmo and apps like this one is the terms of use,” said Baker. “These apps are designed to pay people you know and trust between friends and family members. They are not allowed to broadcast.” This applies to people you don’t know. It’s not for shopping with people you don’t know, and there’s no protection if it goes wrong. “

CONNECTED: Here’s how to block unknown callers from your smartphone

Instead, if you get a payment that appears to be an error, wait a few days. Do not send the money back or deposit it into your own account. Baker said some banks might come back to you for the money since it was originally from a stolen credit card. Contact Venmo if you can and see if the person who sent you the accidental money is real or not.

The Michigan attorney general said their consumer protection team had received no complaints about this particular scam. However, to report suspected fraud, visit mi.gov/agcomplaints or call 877-765-8388.

Often times, scammers target an older population. Baker said this is different and is mainly aimed at younger people who are familiar with this technology and who use it frequently.

“You think nice of West Michigan and the idea that someone has made an expensive mistake and you want to help them,” Baker said. “But increasingly, these types of offers are scams and you need to look for them first.” . “

RELATED VIDEO: Behind the Screen Crime: Avoid Online Shopping Scams

CONNECTED: Behind the Screen Crime: Avoid Online Shopping Scams

Make it easy for yourself to keep up to date with more stories like this one. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Do you have a news tip? E-mail news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook site or Twitter. Subscribe to our Youtube channel.

Tips on how to add cash to Venmo

Just Venmo Users who have been approved for a Venmo Mastercard Debit Card will have the option to deposit funds directly into their account from a verified bank account Venmo Balance. Just follow the steps below. If you don’t have a Venmo Mastercard debit card, there’s no need to add funds to your balance as you don’t need to have money in your account to make payments to other Venmo users. If you enter a payment amount that is greater than the amount you have in your account, Venmo will automatically deduct the difference from your linked funding source.

So if you have a Venmo Mastercard debit card and want to add money to your Venmo balance, just follow the steps below:

how to add money to venmo

(Image credit: Venmo)

1. Add a bank account

If you haven’t already add a bank account to your Venmo profile and Check it.

2. Tap Manage Account Balance

Open the Venmo mobile app, tap the menu icon at the top of the app, then tap Manage Balance.

3. Tap “Add Money”.

4. Enter the transfer amount

Enter the amount you want to transfer and tap Done.

5. Confirm

Confirm the bank account you want to transfer funds from and tap Next.

6. Check

Review the transfer information and estimated arrival date, then tap Add Money.

Note: Once you have done this, you will not be able to cancel your transfer.