Skip to Content

Scam Alert: This Venmo scam sends you money ‘by accident’

(KVOA) - The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has begun warning consumers about a new scam.

Here's how it works, according to the BBB:

You get a message in Venmo. It reads something like: 'Oops! Can you send that back?' You check your balance history, and someone you don’t know just sent you several hundred dollars. Must have been a mistake!  After all, it’s easy to mistype a username. You might think you are doing the right thing by returning the money, but don't fall for it! What’s happening here? Scammers connect stolen credit cards to Venmo and use them to transfer money to unsuspecting users. If you send the money back to the scammer, they will delete the stolen credit card from their account and add their own card in its place. Then, the money you are sending will go on to their personal card. Eventually, the stolen funds will be removed from your account, and you will be out that money.

The BBB said this scam is just one of many using digital wallet apps, such as PayPal, Venmo, Zelle and Apple Pay.

Credit cards usually cover costs from fraud but the BBB said many of these digital wallet vendors do not. So if you pay using a digital wallet, you may not be able to get your money back.

To protect yourself from these types of scams while using a digital wallet or money transfer app follow these BBB tips:

  • Only send money to people you personally know.
  • If someone sends you money by mistake, ask them to cancel the transaction. If they do not, then contact the vendor.
  • Make sure your account settings are secure. Turn on as multi-factor authentication, require a PIN, or use fingerprint or face recognition.
  • Link your money transfer app to a credit card.  

"As with many other purchases, using a credit card will help protect you if you don't get the goods or services you paid for, the BBB said. "Linking to a debit card or directly to your bank account does not give you that added protection."

Author Profile Photo

Alexis Berdine

Alexis Berdine is an Investigative Multi-Media Journalist at KVOA.

Skip to content