Venmo Users in Danger of Getting Scammed

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Although millennials seem to really love using the payments app Venmo to send money for various purchases and to their friends and the trendiness of the app has, apparently, translated to many street drug purchases being made with Venmo. And with Venmo being owned by the Paypal company, users understandably feel very comfortable using this new payment app to transfer sums of money both small and large. It is that assumed trust that is precisely where the problems with Venmo begin.
You see, even though Venmo has the backing of a massive and (mostly) trusted cash transfer website like Paypal, Venmo itself will not do anything in its power to protect its users from being ripped off. People are finding that if you have been scammed and you report it to Venmo, the company’s stance pretty much says that the scammed party should have been smarter about their payment choices.
The way that the scam works is pretty straightforward, but that is probably what makes it so effective. Mostly being used for purchasing and selling using the (ever-problematic) Craigslist, the person making the sale is the one who gets scammed here. What happens is that after agreeing to the sale, the seller will see that he or she has received the agreed-upon funds in his or her Venmo account. This is about where things derail – the buyer receives the goods by picking them up, having the item sent to his or her house via post or by agreeing to meet somewhere to make the transaction. Once the buyer has received the item, they call Venmo and claim that the seller is in violation of the terms of the company’s user agreement forms. This complaint ends up resulting in a refund of the money that the buyer paid.
What is even crazier about this whole thing is that the scammers’ complaints regarding the user agreement is technically correct due to some wording in it that says, “Business, commercial, or merchant transactions may not be conducted using personal accounts.” This ends up meaning that, though sending and receiving money to and from friends or relatives is perfectly acceptable, making an online sale with a personal account could be considered against the agreement. It is certainly a gray area, and the problem is expounded since it really seems that Venmo is siding more often with the scammers than the people who get scammed.

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