Online payment apps are highly convenient and trusted in many places, but can also be a part of the scammer’s toolbox.

Who Is It Targeting:  Online payment app users

What Is It: A spoofed payment that doesn’t exist, OR a reversed payment after you approve the transaction.

What Are They After: There are a lot of options when it comes to sending and receiving money online. Some of the industry names like PayPal are very well-known and widely used, but there are other smaller services that still have a strong customer base.

One scam that has been uncovered recently relies on the app Venmo. This one has manifested a couple of different ways, such as in a strange email that’s made to look like a genuine Venmo email. Another is the fact that the money appears in your account as a transaction before the funds actually arrive; if you sold a product online, for example, and shipped it due to receiving the transaction email, a scammer can still cancel the payment once he receives the shipping confirmation from you.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • If you rely on online payment sites, make sure you’re following the company’s rules in order to protect yourself.
  • Never ship an item simply based on an email; check your account to be sure the funds have processed before you send.
  • If you receive a strange email from a payment site, don’t click any links or attachments just in case it’s been spoofed and contains viruses. Go to the website or app directly and verify the information there.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530.

Find more information about current scams and alerts here.

For full details of this scam check out this article from