When Apple announced that the Cash App was now available for Android, there were celebrations across the land.
Finally, an app that allowed you to send and receive money with family and friends without paying fees was coming to all operating systems! It truly felt like a step forward in financial technology.
One of their recent innovations: learn how to borrow money from Cash App for free!
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The Most Common One:
However, then people started to use the app and they started to find all sorts of scams.
The Most Frequent Cash App Scams
1. Money doubling scam
This is a variant of the old ‘Spanish Prisoner‘ or ‘Nigerian Prince’ scam, except it’s been adapted to take advantage of the popularity of mobile payment apps.
You receive a message from someone who says they need to send money quickly and can’t do so using their bank account (for example, because it’s tied up in a legal case) and so they offer to pay you back double what they owe, with interest.
To receive the money from them, all you have to do is send some of your own money into their account – after which point they will then ‘pay out’ your original donation plus the interest that has accrued throughout a few weeks.
Of course, this isn’t going to happen – but if enough people fall for it then it can be very profitable for those running the scam.
2. Cash-out scam
The cash-out method is similar to the money doubling scam above except this time rather than asking for donations or loans, rather someone is offering to pay you to do some online task (such as filling in a survey, or clicking on links) and in return, they will pay you through the Cash App.
The scammer will usually ask for your bank account details so that they can deposit the money directly into your account, but after you’ve completed the task they never actually follow through with the payment.
3. Phishing scam
This is one of the most common types of scams and it takes many different forms, but all share the same basic goal – to get you to hand over your personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, and bank account details.
The phisher might pretend to be from Cash App customer support and say there’s a problem with your account that they need to resolve.
This could be as simple as them asking you to click on a link that will take you to what looks like the Cash App website but isn’t. The phisher then uses this information to commit identity theft or steal your money directly from your account.
4. Fake customer support
This is another common scam that usually involves someone claiming to be either ‘Cash App Support’ or ‘Sam Walton’, the founder of Walmart, who says they want to give away free money (usually $500) in return for you simply giving them your bank account details (again, often by clicking on a link).
If you do so, not only will they steal all your money but also any chance of getting reimbursed by Cash App.
5. Fake warnings of a security breach
This is a very common scam that first started appearing in the news last year and has reared its head again recently.
The scammers usually pretend to be from Cash App customer support and send you a warning that your account will soon be shut down unless you confirm your bank account details by clicking on a link.
In reality, there’s no problem with your account; but if enough people fall for it then the scammer can make an awful lot of money from selling the personal information they have gathered this way.
6. Scams targeting businesses
The final type of cash app scam involves small businesses, who are often tricked into taking part in fake surveys or ‘competitions’ that a scammer has set up.
The business is usually told they have to pay an upfront fee to take part, and while this may seem like a legitimate request it’s just designed to make the scammer money. If the business falls for the scam then at best it will be out of pocket.
7. Romance scams
This is a type of scam that is becoming increasingly common, especially on dating websites. The scammer will start by building up a relationship with their victim (usually claiming to be from the same country) before asking them for money.
This might be for something as simple as traveling to meet them, or they may claim to need money for medical treatment or to help them out of a difficult situation.
Whatever the story, the result is always the same, the victim loses out financially and often ends up with no one to blame but themselves.
8. Apparent ‘money transfer’ scams
Another variation on the classic phishing scam, this time the scammers try and lure you in by pretending to offer a quick and easy way to transfer money to your friends or family.
If they can get you to hand over your bank details then once again the scammer will be able to steal all your money and in most cases any chance of getting reimbursed too.
9. Fake competitions
You may have seen this type of scam in a spam email in your inbox, but it takes several different forms which all have the same goal – to get you to hand over personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, and bank account details.
In some cases, the scammers might claim that there’s been an issue with sending out a prize for one of their fake competitions and that they need your help to cover the shipping fees when they just want to gather as much personal information as possible before selling it on to criminal gangs.
10. Fake celebrity endorsements
Perhaps the most famous example of this type of scam was the ‘Nigerian Prince’ email which has been doing the rounds for decades, but in recent years they have started appearing on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter too.
The scammers usually pose as a well-known personality or celebrity (such as Bill Gates) who claims that if you send them money they will send you some back only they won’t, because there’s no money in your account, to begin with!
Other Common Cash App Scams Include
Bogus tech support
This scam is often carried out through cold calls, where the scammer poses as a member of Microsoft or Apple’s technical support team.
They will try and trick you into giving them remote access to your computer so that they can ‘fix’ a non-existent problem, and while they’re on your computer they will also steal all your personal information.
Fake anti-virus software
Another common scam is often carried out through pop-up ads, this time the scammers try and convince you that your computer is infected with a virus and that you need to buy their software to fix it.
In reality, the software is usually just a piece of malware that will further infect your computer and steal all your details.
Debt collection scams
This scam is often carried out through cold calls, and the scammers will pose as debt collectors from a loan company or credit card issuer. They will try and convince you that you owe money that you don’t, and then threaten to take legal action if you don’t pay up.
In reality, the debt collectors are just fraudsters who are trying to steal your money, and if you fall for their scam they could end up costing you thousands of dollars.
Fake job offers
Another common scam is often carried out through emails, this time the scammers try and convince you that they have a great job opportunity waiting for you.
They might ask you to pay a registration fee or start paying for training courses before you’ve even had a chance to see the job, and in most cases, the jobs are either fake or non-existent.
Fake charity appeals
Charity scams are some of the most heartless out there because the scammers are targeting people who are often genuinely trying to help those in need.
They will usually pose as a legitimate charity organization (often using names that are very similar to well-known charities) and ask for donations when in reality they will just use the money to fund their lavish lifestyle.
Fake investment schemes
Possibly the most common type of scam out there at the moment, these scams target people who are looking to invest their money and make some good returns on it.
The scammers will suggest a fake investment scheme which usually involves incredibly high returns in return for very little risk when in reality they just want your money so that they can use it to fund their lavish lifestyles.
How to avoid Cash App scams
1. Be wary of unsolicited offers
One of the best ways to avoid getting scammed is to be suspicious of any offers which come your way, especially if they seem too good to be true.
If you receive an offer via email, social media, or text message and you weren’t expecting it, then it’s probably a scam.
2. Don’t respond to unsolicited emails
If you receive an email out of the blue and it’s offering a deal that sounds too good to be true, then just delete it.
It could be a virus or spam disguised as an important message from your bank, and either way you should never open any links or attachments in unexpected emails.
3. Check the legitimacy of the organization
If you’re thinking about donating to a charity, investing in a new business, or signing up for a training course, then make sure you do your research first.
Check the legitimacy of the organization by looking them up online and reading reviews from previous customers. If something doesn’t seem right, then don’t go ahead with the deal.
4. Be wary of cold calls
If you receive a phone call out of the blue offering an amazing job opportunity or investment scheme, then it’s probably too good to be true.
Never give your details over the phone unless you’re certain who you are talking to because there could be scammers waiting on the other end who will use them to steal your money.
5. Take your time before making a decision
If you’re ever unsure about whether an offer is a scam or not, then take your time before making a decision. Don’t rush into anything and always consult with someone else if you can.
It’s better to be safe than sorry in cases like this because the scammers are counting on you being gullible and not doing your research.
6. Think twice about taking out a loan
If you are thinking about taking out a quick loan to pay off an unexpected bill, then it’s best not to.
Cash App scams are becoming more and more sophisticated at the moment, so never make any large transactions with someone you don’t know online.
7. Keep your details safe
One of the main things scammers are looking for is your details, so it’s important to keep them safe.
Never give out your name, address, date of birth, or bank account details to someone you don’t know, and never respond to emails that ask for this information.
How I got scammed one time
It was a sunny day when I went to the bank to deposit some money. I opened my Cash app and deposited $500. Thinking that everything was ok, I left the bank building.
What I didn’t know is that there was a failure with their system that caused my account to be overdrawn by $500. So when I went outside, the bank had already closed for the night and there was no way for me to fix it.
I tried using other apps but they were all saying there were insufficient funds in my account so nobody could deposit any money into it. This is how scammers like to use technology like Cash App and make people lose their money because they don’t notice until it’s too late and they can’t do anything about them but it’s important to be
Another time, I got scammed on Cash App when I was trying to pay my friend for their share of the food. I tried to send $5 saying that would cover the cost, but the person didn’t know how to get into their account and they said they couldn’t get it. I tried to log in for them but it wouldn’t let me because they didn’t have a phone number. So I sent another $5, and it went through this time. Scam, or not?
I never got paid back!
Cash App scams are everywhere, and there is no shortage of people willing to take your money by any means necessary.
If you know what to look out for and how to avoid Cash App scams, however, then you’ll be able to keep your hard-earned money where it belongs: in your bank account. Also, watch out for pyramid schemes!