RICHMOND, Va. (NewsNation Now) — Money transfer apps have been growing in popularity during the pandemic but it’s also attracting scammers hoping to take advantage of unsuspecting users.
NewsNation affiliate WRIC’s investigative reporter Kerri O’Brien uncovered that scammers have found a way to use Cash App to con users out of money, potentially wiping out entire bank accounts.
The peer-to peer-payment app developed by Square lets you send and receive funds instantly. Around 30 million people are now using the app valued at more than $40 billion.
Virginia resident Troy Harrison had found Cash App convenient for his business but didn’t know what do to when he noticed a payment was suddenly refunded— deducting money from his account.
“I pull up Cash App immediately and I see $100 drop off,” said Harrison. “Within about 15-20 minutes later another $202 drops off. So now, I am, like, scared.”
Concerned and unable to locate a phone number on the website for live customer support assistance, Harrison sent an email; “I reached out to Cash App and they took about two days to get back to me.”
The lack of a timely response from the company resulted in additional funds draining from Harrison’s account due to repeated disputed payment claims from one customer. Harrison is out hundreds of dollars and Cash App customer service couldn’t help. He’s since quit using the app.
“We get calls daily,” said Barry N. Moore, the President and CEO of the Central Virginia Better Business Bureau, in regards to complaints about Cash App. “It’s just a big mess.”
Moore said the local BBB chapter has received more than 30 complaints in just the past few months.
The only way to access many money apps’ customer service is through the app and website. Consequently, scammers are posing as customer service representatives but are really “professional thieves” according to Moore.
Moore said many complaints to the BBB have come from Cash App customers who use Google to search for customer support that leads to clicking on links of very believable but bogus Cash App websites with fake customer service numbers. Scammers pose as customer service associates and access private information from the caller to steal money from accounts.
Cash App is aware of the scams. Calling the company’s verified number, 855-351-2274, directs you to the app and website for support with a recording stating: “Please be aware that Cash App employees are often impersonated by scammers circulating fake phone numbers online.”
We are always working to protect our customers, which includes educating them about phishing scams. As a reminder, the Cash App team will never ask customers to send them money, nor will they solicit a customer’s PIN or sign-in code outside of the app. If you believe you have fallen victim to a scam, you should contact Cash App support through the app or website immediately. For more information on common online scams, please visit https://cash.app/help/us/en-us/6482-recognize-scams.CASH APP
The BBB said the best way to protect yourself from money transfer scams is to only send money to people you know, link money transfers to a credit card, and never send money using public Wi-Fi. They also encourage reporting scamming incidents. You can report ad check out other scams online here.