MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


Don't Waste Your Money: Be careful with money transfer apps

Don't Waste Your Money: Money transfer scams
Posted at 3:19 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 16:21:37-04

More people are using money transfer apps on their phones, especially during the pandemic.

One man learned the hard way that these don't have the same protection as bank accounts do.

Sure, you might not want to deal with paper money and coins due to the risk of COVID.

If so, a money transfer app may sound ideal, as long as you know the risks.

Mark Fisher didn't want to handle paper money during the pandemic, so he switched to the "cash" app.

But when a recent payment to his storage unit failed to go through, he decided to call the money transfer company.

"I googled some numbers, found some numbers online for cash app," Fisher said, calling what appeared to be cash customer service.

"They're asking me for some information, I give them my name, stuff like that," he said.

The agent needed to check his account.

"They are sending me these codes, through my phone, telling me to text them the codes back," Fisher said.


"And then I got hung up on .... $3,400 missing."

More than $3,000, almost his entire bank account ...gone in a second!

"They drained the account," Fisher said.

It turned out the number he googled was a scam and not the real app.

Money transfer apps have become super popular during the pandemic, because you don't have to deal with human tellers, drive-up windows, ATMs or fees at your traditional bank.

But they also don't come with the same protections.

Consumer Reports says there are risks with all money transfer apps -- cash, Zelle, and the biggest one, Venmo.

It warns if you send money to the wrong person, it is gone forever.

It says beware calls and e-mails from the apps: they are often scams.

And be very careful googling for customer service.

The very same thing happened last year to Damon Lander, who told me his Zelle account was drained by a phone scammer.

Mark just wishes the apps had some sort of fraud protection built in.

"I've never sent anyone $3,400 on my card. That's all I had!"

After we contacted the cash app's fraud department, the company agreed to refund Mark's lost money.

But be very careful googling for customer service, so you don't waste your money.