Cash App
Source: istock, Cash App

Cash App Scams and How to Avoid Them


Oct. 2 2020, Updated 3:03 p.m. ET

Mobile payment services have grown in popularity in recent years and Square's Cash App has become one of the trendiest. The innovative peer-to-peer mobile app allows users to transfer money from one person to another with minimal effort or risk.

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Unfortunately, due to the popularity of money transferring apps, hackers use the apps to prey on unwary users. Phone apps are perfect targets for scammers who are looking to take advantage of people’s negligence. However, there are ways to identify Cash App scams and avoid being victimized. 

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What are some Cash App scams?

The most recent Cash App scam was a direct result of the app's soaring popularity. Cash App has weekly cash giveaways known as #CashAppFriday where users can become eligible by engaging with the app on social media platforms. Users can retweet or reply to posts with their $cashtag, which is the unique ID that they use through Cash App.

Scammers search social media for the $cashtags and reach out to contact users through the tags. Scammers tell users that they have won a prize. The scammers say that they need the user's info in order to send over the “cash reward.” Also, the scammers ask the user to provide a small amount of money, which will turn into a cash reward. After the user sends the money, it’s too late. The money is gone and the trail looks legitimate. Scams have cost Cash App users thousands of dollars over the last year. 

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Is the Cash App scam similar to other Flipping scams?

The #CashAppFriday scam is similar to other scams that involve flipping. Flipping involves turning a small investment into a large sum of cash. The scams prey on users' gullibility. The scams are commonly used in tandem with other phishing scams where hackers pretend to be legitimate Cash App employees in order to get users' personal information. The information can be log-in details, PIN codes, or even personal banking information. 

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How to avoid a Cash App scam

In most cases, the easiest way to avoid these types of scams is to examine the details of any transaction you make through the app. Never befriend someone or make a connection with someone that you don't know. Never disclose your personally identifiable information online or through social media. Many scammers lurk on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter just waiting to strike. 

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Another good tip is to avoid directly messaging any strangers who promise a reward or a cash prize. If they do promise a prize, don't click on any links until you discuss it with Cash App support. Also, keep your login details private. Cash App has even stated that no one representing the company will ever ask for your sign-in code over the phone, social media, or through email. If someone wants your login information and they don’t sound legitimate, chances are they aren’t. 

How to report a Cash App scammer

If you think that you are a victim to any sort of Cash App phishing scam or if you think you have been hacked, there are a number of steps to follow. The first step is to change your Cash App PIN. Then, call and report the incident to Cash App support

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Will Cash App refund you if you’re scammed?

Cash App has several refund policies in place. Most of them have to do with whether or not you used Cash App for Internet purchases. For example, if you bought something from a merchant through Cash App and it never arrived or if it did arrive and came damaged or was otherwise not working. Those circumstances will most certainly warrant a refund.  

However, if you think you were hacked or scammed, the refund will be subject to mitigating factors based on the scam itself. Cash App reviews the reported scams on a case-by-case basis to discern the truth behind any requested refunds. Most Cash App transactions involve at least two parties. The company has to determine which of the involved party in the transaction is telling the truth.

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