Beware of Venmo Scams Targeting Users via Text Messages

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The local police department warns consumers of Venmo Mobile Payment Services with text messages that direct them to a fake website about a wave of phishing scams.

Venmo is a peer-to-peer payment app owned by PayPal that enables cash to be sent and received from and to contacts on your phone.

Smishing users of Venmo

Crooks use SMS to link to a fake website that gathers private and banking data. The message tells the prospective victim that your Venmo account is charged unless the procedure is rejected. SMS phishing is also known as smishing.

In the text, the connection to the Venmo phishing page offers a fast way to access the account, warns Dighton Police Department in Massachusetts.

Even if credentials are inaccurate, the fake login method goes on to ask customers to check by typeing the payment card amount and extra private and economic data.

A Dighton PD article on Facebook states that the fraudulent website “use the same colors and font as the Venmo app,” in order to prevent suspicions.

VenmoPhishing-DightonPD

Easy money

This is a simple form of scam that users can recognize when sensitive information is requested. There is a more comprehensive version in which the victim gets a lot of money from someone he doesn’t know.

At a subsequent moment, the crook asks the victim for cash back. If the victim accepts the original transaction and then meets the application, believing it was performed wrongly, the crook can contact Venmo and reverse the transaction.

One customer has got $1,000 in this manner, another argues $1,200. The big amounts are probably meant to tempt the recipient to accept the transaction.

When the first sum received by the victim and then Venmo took action to remedy an error, the crook doubled the cash. It is essential to remember that cash may also come from fraudulent transactions, and Venmo will revert them.

The best course in such cases is not to receive money from people you don’t know into your account and just leave it in the Venmo equilibrium. Venmo can thus return it to the right owner or, at least, the source from which it originated.

PayPal’s Q1 financial report states that the amount of Venmo customers has increased to 40,000,000.

On Google Play, the app is more than 10 million times installed, and its iOS version ranks 4.9 out of 5 in the App Store, an average of 6.5 million scores.

Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards & w-se. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.