Peer to Peer Payment Payment Services (P2P) such as Zelle, Venmo, ApplePay PayPal, Square Cash and PopMoney are popular ways to quickly and conveniently send money electronically from your credit card or bank account. They also are easy ways to be scammed and unlike with scams targeting your credit cards directly, you may not have as much protection under the law to get your money back if you do get scammed. People are reporting receiving a text message that appears to come from Venmo indicating that their account is about to be charged money and advises the person receiving the text message to log into their account if they wish to dispute the charge. The text message contains a link that takes you to a website that appears to be that of Venmo, but is a phony site set up by the scammer. Once the victim of the scam goes to the phony Venmo site, he or she is prompted to verify their identity by entering their credit or debit card number and other information that will be used for purposes of identity theft.
To avoid having your Venmo account and other accounts from being taken over by hackers, never provide your username, password or PIN in response to any email, text message or phone call unless you have absolutely confirmed that the request for this information is legitimate, which it never is. If you receive a text message such as the one described above and you think that there may be the possibility of it being legitimate, you can contact Venmo through this link https://help.venmo.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=624807
In order to protect your account from being hacked and being taken over by a scammer who could access your credit card or bank account, you should use a PIN or other dual factor authentication for your Venmo account. In addition, as I am always advising you, don’t link your Venmo account to a debit card. Instead link it to a credit card. You have much more protection under the law if you use your credit card.
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