Cash App is a mobile app that powers peer-to-peer payments, much like Venmo, PayPal, or Zelle. The app has extended its services to include banking and investing, but its primary product is sending and receiving money on the go. Cash App (formerly known as Square Cash) launched in 2013 under Square, Inc., and its grown to over 30 million active users. Unfortunately, Cash App scams have also grown.
The app's popularity surged in 2020, driven by pandemic customer behavior and direct disbursements from the government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) stimulus payments. However, the increased user base didn't just draw in more Cash App customers; it also attracted more scammers.
Peer-to-peer payment apps make it easy to pay friends and family, but it also makes it simple for scammers to steal your money. If you use Cash App or a business requires payment via Cash App, you should be well aware of the platform's potential risks.
Our guides offer detailed step-by-step instructions to help you identify and avoid scams. We help you recognize the tell-tale signs of fraud, and we provide real-life examples so you can see what potential risks look like. Our advice helps you beat the scams. And if the scammers have already gotten you, we provide the quickest, most up-to-date steps to protect yourself and fix the issue.
Scammers use the same tried-and-true methods on a variety of channels. On Cash App, these are the primary ways scammers are tricking users:
Fake businesses and scams request payment via a peer-to-peer platform, but they never deliver the goods or services after receiving your money.
Example Communication from Scammer
Unfortunately, as I am in the military and deployed out of state, I can't show you the apartment in person, but don't worry, it's clean and in good shape.
You seem like a trustworthy candidate so I would like to offer you this place to rent. All I need is your rental deposit of $1,200 and I will ship you the keys via FedEx once I receive it. Please send payment via Cash App.
With legit Cash App giveaways happening regularly, scammers have ample opportunity to trick people into thinking they've won money. They will message you on social media telling you you have won a giveaway but must transfer a small amount of money to them to verify your account and claim your winnings.
Scammers target support-relevant keywords that customers search for on Google (e.g., "cash app customer support"). They create fake websites, blog posts, and contact information to convince you they're an authentic site.
Scammers call customers pretending to be support representatives. They initiate fake transfers or request account information to steal your money.
Example Phone Call
This is the fraud department from Cash App. We have received some suspicious activity on your account, but don't worry, we'll take care of it right away for you.
I'm going to send you a code to your registered phone number so I can verify your identity. Please tell me this code when you receive it.
Scammers create fake account IDs to look like real users. Customers go to pay a friend or family member and accidentally pay a scammer who's impersonated them.
Scammers claim to be able to "flip" your money, promising to double or triple any amount you send them. Once you send them the funds, you'll never see your money again. "Cash flipping" is not a legitimate business—it's always a scam.
Cash App is well aware of these scams, and they're proactively messaging customers about how to stay safe on the app. Here are a few ways Cash App is protecting customers:
Just because scammers are exploiting people on Cash App doesn't mean you should delete the app or stop using it. By following a few best practices, you can keep your money secure while safely using the app:
If you've fallen victim to a Cash App scam or have been contacted by a scammer, you should:
Keep your money safe by only paying for your new pet once you have the pet in your possession and avoid using Cash App.
One of the most common scams found on the app, this is an attempt to steal your money by promising more in return for a small deposit—like flipping houses but for cash.
Scammers are taking advantage of renters desperate and in a rush to find a new home, stealing thousands from innocent people.
If you enter Cash App giveaways or sweepstakes, be extra cautious. Scammers will try to trick you into thinking you've won but are really just trying to steal from you.
If you enter giveaways on Cash App, don't get too excited if you're told you've won—this could be a scam.
Beware of calls from the "Fraud Department" of mobile payment apps like Cash App, Venmo, and Zelle—you could lose all of your money in seconds.
Scammers are sending fake Venmo emails to Facebook Marketplace sellers in an attempt to steal login information and money.
If you've received a locked debit card text message from Citibank, it's likely a scam. Don't click on the link and delete the text message.
If you receive a text message from Chase Bank, don't click on any links or call the phone number listed—it could be a scam designed to steal your information and money.
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