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BBB: Don’t fall for a Venmo scam

Sep 30, 2021, 11:16 AM | Updated: 11:24 am

SALT LAKE CITY — “Can I Venmo you?” is a question consumers hear a lot lately thanks to the convenience of paying for everything from fundraisers to yard sale items with the cash transfer app on your phone.

But with great ease comes great opportunity for scammers to steal from you.

Taking a look at cybercrime in general, a recent study found that Utahns lost the fifth most in the nation, with an average of $9,564 per victim.

And 2020 was a record year where scammers swiped $4.2 billion in internet scams.

(CCTV Camera World) (CCTV Camera World)

A study from CCTV Camera World compiled FBI statistics showing just how bad it is in Utah, and the Better Business Bureau is warning about Venmo specifically because it’s an easy scam to fall for.

Similar to spoofing phone numbers that look familiar or emails that just about match the addresses you’re used to, crooks try to cash in by asking for money from friends — only it’s a fake account that has been altered slightly to catch you off guard.

BBB tips to avoid Venmo scams

  • Don’t send any money to friends before directly confirming with them that they’re actually asking for the payment
  • Keep your transactions private
  • Only transfer money on these apps with people you actually know
  • Enable additional security settings, like two-factor authentication
  • Link apps like Venmo to a credit card so crooks aren’t stealing directly from your checking account and you can dispute the transaction.

An estimated 65 million people use Venmo, so pay attention before you hit that pay button.

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BBB: Don’t fall for a Venmo scam