Get an accidental Venmo deposit? Beware

Scammers "accidentally" send money to Venmo, Zelle, Cash users
BBB warns about Venmo scams where crooks send money 'by accident'
Posted at 2:33 PM, Sep 28, 2021

Do you use money transfer apps like Venmo, Zelle, or Cash app?

If so, the Better Business Bureau is issuing an alert about a scam it first started seeing last year and is now receiving complaints about almost daily.

It has to do with an "accidental" deposit into your account – which is not accidental at all.

In the most common version of this scam, the BBB says someone sends money to your Venmo or Zelle account, then asks for it back, claiming it was a mistake.

Recent college grad Shelbi Felbinger found a stranger sending her $2,000 out of the blue.

"I'm not entirely sure how he found me," she said, "which is a little nerve-wracking."

How this slick scam works

Sara Kemerer of the BBB explains how the scam works.

"They say, 'Oops, so sorry. I didn't mean to send you that. Can you please send it back to me?'"

She believes the scammers target numbers randomly or find you on social media.

When you return the money – to be excellent – you are sending your cash, she says.

The money they sent disappears since it came from a now invalid credit card that the original holder has just canceled.

"You were actually out the money when you thought you were just sending the money back to them," Kemerer said. "When you think it was all from an honest mistake."

Receive money from a stranger? The BBB says you don't send it back right away.

In most cases, that money will disappear from your account in a couple of days when the stolen card is canceled.

Finally, remember that with money transfer apps, anything you send is gone forever. You can't pull it back.

So be careful, so you don't waste your money.

Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").

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