April 11, 2021

‘Accidental’ Venmo Payment from a Stranger May Be a Scam

In early March 2021, Snopes readers inquired about screenshots of what seemed a rip-off distributing on the payment platform Venmo. The alleged fraud reveals a Venmo user sending $600 to another user and then requesting it back, declaring to have sent it to the wrong individual:

We do not know the objectives of the Venmo user included in the above exchange (and we cropped the individuals name out for privacy factors), sending out money to strangers and then requesting it back is a recognized type of fraud on Venmo.

The Dayton Daily News, a Dayton, Ohio-based daily paper, explained how the fraud works:

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also alerts versus this kind of rip-off, in which a cash app user “mistakenly” sends a stranger a payment and then requests that they send it back. The BBB advises that if you are targeted in an exchange like this, do not send out the money back. Rather, ask the other individual to simply cancel the transaction.

“The sender can ask for that the vendor cancel the transaction. If the person declines, its most likely a scam,” the BBB states.

The BBB also motivates money app users to check their security settings and to connect their accounts to credit cards rather of debit cards or bank accounts because, in case you are scammed, its simpler to recoup the cash if you charged it to a credit card.

Even Venmo is conscious of these scams and puts a warning on its website that Venmo is developed for payments in between individuals who rely on each other due to the fact that there is no security for the buyer or seller. If you send out the cash back to the fraudster, he or she will delete the taken credit card from the account and include his or her own card in its location.