Money transfer apps are rapidly replacing checking accounts these days, especially for people who don't want to handle cash during this pandemic.
Unfortunately, as a Cincinnati woman just learned, these apps are easy targets for scammers.
Corinthia, who asked that we not use her last name, just saw her rent payment and more disappear in a flash when a scammer got access to her Cash App account.
"It began with an email to me, and it said $499 would be withdrawn from my account," she said.
Worried, Corinthia called the phone number listed in the email and got a friendly phone agent.
"He told me download this app so he could look into my Cash account and see what happened," she said.
The agent was not really with Cash App. As soon as she opened up the app for him to remotely see it, he transferred $1,600 to someone in Canada.
"I had $1,604," she said. "Now, $4 is what's left in my Cash App account."
How the scam works
Cash App is not vulnerable to random hacking. However, in so many of these cases, it turns out the victim called the scammer, thinking they were working for Cash App.
They then gave the person their account number, or let them remotely take control of their phone.
Earlier this summer, Mark Fisher told us he Googled "Cash App customer service" for a paycheck issue, called the first number that popped up, and gave his sign-in number to what he thought was a very helpful customer service agent.
"And then I got hung up on and $3,400 went missing," he said.
A scammer had drained his entire account.
Cash App now states on its website: "Please note that there are currently no phone numbers that you can call to speak with Cash support. No one representing Cash App will ever ask for your sign-in code."
We contacted Cash on the chance the company could help Corinthia recover her money.
"That's a month's pay," she said. "$1,600 is almost a month's take-home pay for me!"
Remember, money transfer apps like Cash, Venmo and Zelle are convenient, but don't have FDIC insurance or all the protections a standard bank offers.
Be careful, or you might end up wasting your money.
How to get Cash App support for real, according to the company:
To request contact through the Cash App:
- Tap the profile icon on your Cash App home screen
- Scroll down and tap Cash Support
- Tap Something Else
- Navigate to your issue
- Tap Contact Support
To receive automated instructions over the phone, please call 855-351-2274.
Please note that there are currently no phone numbers that you can call to speak with Cash Support.
As a reminder, no one representing Cash App will ever ask for your sign-in code over the phone, on social media, or through any other medium.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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