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Is Venmo safe?

You may have heard stories of crimes and scams involving Venmo.

Venmo is handy at yard sales and garage sales, or for sending your nephew some birthday cash. Or for settling a restaurant bill amongst friends.

Like any payment system (credit card, debit card, checking account, Apple Pay, Google Wallet) careful use is needed.

Here are some general guidelines:

Make sure you're sending money to the correct profile. If you're not sure, don't send it. Don't trust the Search by Name in Venmo. Someone else might be using your nephew's picture and name, hoping to pick up some easy birthday cash. There might be imposters for a business too. Confirming their phone number is safer. Only send a small amount and ask them if they got it. Scanning and using the recipient's QR code is the easiest way to send to a seller at a yard sale.

If you're buying online, take advantage of purchase protection. Not all vendors offer this, so don't use Venmo if you might want a refund and they don't offer Venmo purchase protection.

Don't store a large amount of money in your Venmo account. It's not FDIC insured, like a bank is. So if Venmo ever collapses like bitcoin banks sometimes do, poof your money will be gone. If you have a large balance, you can move the money from Venmo to your bank account.

Scammers will pretend to be your utility company, the police, the IRS, a bank, your relative, a romantic interest. When they ask you to Venmo them "but don't tell anyone about it" that should be a RED FLAG. 🚩

The main thing to remember is once you've sent money through Venmo, you can't get it back unless the recipient sends it back to you. Be safe out there!

If you're new to Venmo, here's a link to describe how to use it.

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