Yes, it’s true that Cash App is one of the most convenient ways to send money to someone.
Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common ways of getting scammed on the web.
In this article, we’ll explain the eight most dangerous Cash App scams based on how often they pop up online.
Hopefully, by learning more about these scams, you’ll be better able to spot similar scams in the future and protect yourself against them.
8. Fake Government Relief Payments
Just because an email looks like it came from the government doesn’t mean that it did.
Fake relief payments are a trick as old as time, and they’re a common attack on the Cash App platform whenever a crisis like a hurricane or tornado hits a small town. Scammers are spineless, and they love to take advantage of people who are already in a tough spot. They prey on confusion and the desperation of those who have just been through a tragedy.
These fake payments from the government offer “financial assistance” to those affected by said tragedy, and to receive this assistance, victims are told to send sensitive information to the scammer.
This scam was particularly bad when the Covid-19 pandemic was in full swing.
How can you look in the face of a cute puppy and say no? That’s the exact mentality that scammers use when they set up this fake Cash App scam.
The fake pet deposit scam is a scheme where a scammer pretends to be a reputable breeder selling a rare purebred puppy or other popular domesticated animal.
These scammers will set up a fake listing on a third-party site with fake photos, and they’ll refuse to talk to you over the phone. Once they get you interested with the unrealistic low price of the animal and its irresistibly cute face, they’ll ask for your Cash App info.
The problem is the puppy’s not real, and if you send them money, you’ll never see it again.
6. The Cash Flipper Scam
This scam has been growing in popularity in the last few years.
The cash flip scam is a lot like property flipping, except it’s rarely explained how it’s supposed to work, and it’s a complete and utter scam.
The cash flip scam (often known as a “money circle”) presents itself as a way to take a small amount of your money and flip it into a much larger amount of money. For example, these scammers will take ten of your dollars and “flip it” to $100.
These scams are often connected to Cash App, and there’s only one thing you need to remember if you get a notification about one: there’s no such thing as a cash flipping program.
Just don’t fall for this.
5. Mistaken or Accidental Payment Received Scam
There’s nothing like free money to brighten up someone’s day.
Here’s how this Cash App Scam works:
- A scammer sends you a random deposit of money, usually a few hundred dollars.
- A few hours later, you get a message telling you that you received this money by mistake, and they ask you kindly to send back the money.
- Meanwhile, while you’re pondering whether you should send the money back, the scammer calls their bank, tells them that the Cash App payment was a mistake, and asks for a refund.
- Because the scammer asked for a refund, if you send the money back to the scammer, you’re just sending them your money. If you decide to keep the money, it doesn’t matter since the scammer had their money reimbursed from the bank.
If random money shows up in your account, decline the payment if you have the choice, and block the sender if you don’t know them.
There’s no such thing as free money, so always be skeptical.
4. The Non-Existent Goods Scam
Cash App is not and has never been a marketplace for goods and services, but that doesn’t stop scammers from trying to sell fake products.
These scammers will advertise popular products such as electronics, designer goods, or event tickets at attractive prices to grab your attention and work you over. Once they get you to send money to them through Cash App, you’ll never receive the product you were promised, and you won’t see your money ever again.
Just remember that the Cash App platform is not a marketplace, and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of hassle.
3. The Fake Prize Scam
Every once in a while, the Cash App team will hold an official sweepstakes where users can win free money. This is actually real, not a scam.
One of these events is #CashAppFridays, where the company gives out money and prizes to a handful of lucky users.
Here’s the problem. #CashAppFridays is a hashtag that anyone can use, which means not every prize you find on that hashtag is real.
If you get a message telling you that you won a cash prize, do everything you can to confirm that it’s really from Cash App before sending any of your personal information. Here’s what a real contest from Cash App Looks like:
2. Cash App Scams on Facebook
Although it’s easy to get caught up in a Cash App scam anywhere online, Facebook is the most common place of attack due to how popular the social media platform is.
One of the most common Cash App attacks on Facebook happens on Facebook Marketplace. Here’s how it works:
- The scammer finds a seller on Facebook Marketplace who looks like a nice person who’s easy to fool.
- The scammer will email the seller, telling them they are interested and will pay with Cash App.
- The seller gets an email telling them that they have money from “the buyer” in their account.
- Later, when the seller checks their bank, they realize the money was never sent. Turns out, the email they received was fake.
- The worst part is if the seller contacts Cash App, the scammer will claim they are the one being scammed. That’s right; the scammer will argue that the sale went smoothly and that the seller is trying to scam money out of them now.
This is a very common Cash App scam that’s easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. Just look for @Square.com, @Squareup.com, or @Cash.app in the email to verify that it’s an actual Cash App payment.
1. Phishing Emails
The most common way to get caught up in a Cash App attack is through just a simple, yet effective, phishing email.
A phishing email is a deceptive email designed to trick you into providing sensitive information or get you to click a link that downloads malware to your computer.
When it comes to Cash App scams, a phishing email can look like any fake offer, service, or warning. The one thing all of these emails have in common is a request to enter your Cash App information.
Here’s a phishing email that looks like its from Cash App, but it’s just a scammer looking for a victim:
Never click the button or open any links.
A phishing email can look like anything, so exercise as much skepticism as you possibly can while going through your inbox. Here are some tips on how to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender’s email address for any misspellings, extra characters, or suspicious domains.
- Phishing emails will usually use a generic greeting like “Dear Customer” instead of addressing you by name.
- Is the email littered with spelling and grammar mistakes? Legitimate organizations will always proofread their emails.
- Does the email ask for personal information? A legitimate organization will never ask for sensitive information like Social Security numbers or bank account information.
- Is there a sense of urgency in the email? Scammers want you to act immediately and not think about the consequences. If the email tells you to act right away, that’s a clear sign of a phishing attempt.
Just like how scammers use Zelle to trick victims into giving them their money, fraudsters use the convenience of Cash App to their advantage.
Cash App was designed to make sending money between you and your friends and family easier.
It’s probably best to use Cash App how it was intended by just sending money to friends and family and use more traditional methods that are better protected to make purchases online.
This article was originally published by Marcus Leary on Hackernoon.