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How To Protect Yourself Against Cash App Scams

Cash App scams are on the rise. As the peer-to-peer payment app grows in popularity, so do opportunities for fraudsters to steal unsuspecting users‘ money.

In 2021 alone, FTC data shows consumers reported over $131 million in losses from payment app scams like those on Cash App and Venmo. That‘s a staggering 2,000% increase from 2017.

But there are steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim. By understanding common Cash App scam techniques, enacting preventive security measures, and knowing what to do if you encounter fraud, you can keep your money safe.

In this comprehensive guide from your cybersecurity friends at , we’ll equip you to:

  • Recognize 12+ sneaky Cash App scams
  • Implement 11 concrete tips to lock down your account
  • Learn exactly what to do if scammers target you (and how to get help recovering your funds)
  • Get answers to frequently asked questions about Cash App security

Let’s get started protecting your account!

How Cash App Works

Before diving into Cash App scams, let’s review how this payment app functions.

Cash App is a free peer-to-peer platform developed by Square that allows fast no-fee money transfers directly between users.

Here are some of the things you can do with Cash App:

  • Send/receive money: Instantly pay other Cash App users by their $cashtag, phone, or email
  • Get paid: Generate your own unique $cashtag to receive payments from clients, friends, etc.
  • Spend balances: Use a free Cash Card debit card to spend your funds in stores or online
  • Invest: Trade bitcoin or stocks commission-free
  • Donate: Give to churches, political groups, charities, content creators and more

Cash App connects directly to your current debit card or bank account, allowing quick transfers without waiting days for bank clears like checks or wire transfers.

Is Cash App Safe to Use?

Cash App incorporates security measures like encryption to protect your money and data. However, any payment app allowing direct access to your bank account carries inherent risks.

Here are some of Cash App’s safety features:

  • End-to-end encryption secures your data and transactions
  • Fraud monitoring uses AI to detect suspicious account activity
  • Meets industry PCI data compliance standards for secure payment processing
  • Provide two-factor authentication and transaction approval controls

Despite safeguards, Cash App fraud still occurs. There are no guarantees you‘ll recover funds sent to scammers or thieves. This makes avoiding Cash App scams through awareness and preventive measures a top priority.

Now let’s explore specific Cash App scam tactics to watch for.

12+ Cash App Scams and How to Spot Them

Cash App scammers use clever tricks and social engineering to manipulate users and steal account funds. Here are some of the most common Cash App scams to watch for.

1. Fake Payment Refund Scam

This scam targets online sellers using sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

A scammer expresses interest in an item you listed for sale. They claim to have sent you money for the product on Cash App, but say they mistakenly sent too much and ask you to refund the difference.

If you comply, that overpayment comes out of your own funds. The scammer disputes the original "payment" through their bank and pockets your real cash refund.

How to avoid: Wait until any payment fully clears before issuing refunds. If a buyer claims they overpaid and pressures you to return funds quickly, it‘s likely a scam.

2. Unsolicited Payment Scam

In this scam, you receive a random payment from someone you don‘t know. Shortly after, the sender messages you claiming they sent it by accident and asks you to send the money back.

But if you refund their "accidental" payment, the money comes from your own account. And the scammer can still dispute the original payment through their bank, costing you even more.

How to avoid: Never send money back to someone you don‘t know, even if they claim the payment was a mistake. Report unrecognized payments as fraudulent.

3. Social Security Number Requests

Fraudsters message Cash App users asking for the last 4 digits of their Social Security number or other personal info to "confirm their identity" before sending money.

But Cash App doesn‘t require your SSN outside initial account setup. Anyone requesting it later is likely phishing for personal data to steal your identity and gain access to your account.

How to avoid: Never provide your SSN, login credentials, or other sensitive info to other Cash App users. Legit Cash App support will never ask for this.

4. Prize & Giveaway Scams

Prize and giveaway scams start with a message that you won money or a reward. To claim it, the scammer says you just need to first pay a small “processing fee.”

Of course, this is just a scheme to pocket your money. There is no prize, and the scammer disappears after you send the fee.

How to avoid: Real prizes never require you to pay money upfront. Any giveaway or lottery requiring an upfront “fee” to get your winnings is always a scam.

5. Fake Cash App Support Scams

Scammers often pose as Cash App support agents to trick you into sharing your login or bank details.

Signs it’s a scam:

  • They contact you first (real support won’t reach out unprompted)
  • They ask for sensitive info like your PIN, SSN, or password
  • They request remote access to your device or Cash App account
  • They provide a phone number other than Cash App’s official support line

How to avoid: Only contact Cash App support through the official app or website. Never share your login or personal details with unverified sources.

6. Phishing Scams

Phishing scams involve fake emails or texts impersonating Cash App. They state there is a security issue with your account and provide links to incorrect Cash App pages.

These links trick you into entering your username and password on a fake site that steals your credentials. Or they get you to download malware disguised as legitimate software.

How to avoid: Cash App will never email links to unofficial third-party sites. Use 2FA to protect your account, and enable login approvals.

7. Cash Flipping Scams

Cash flipping scams promise huge returns if you send the scammer a small upfront investment via Cash App. Of course, you‘ll never see those returns. The scammer blocks you after pocketing your money.

How to avoid: No one can legally guarantee investment returns, especially in exchange for an upfront fee. This is a major red flag for a scam.

8. Rental & Purchase Deposit Scams

Scammers advertise rentals, cars, pets, or other high-demand items at great prices to attract attention. They require interested buyers to put down a deposit upfront via Cash App.

But once you pay, you won’t receive the item or rental. The scammer disappears with your money.

How to avoid: Never send payments for rentals, vehicles, pets, or items you haven’t verified on your own first. Only pay for legitimate listings from trusted sources.

9. Government Imposter Scams

Fraudsters pose as government officials offering relief funds, grants, or other aid programs. They claim you need to provide your banking details “to deposit your funds,” but actually just steal your money.

How to avoid: Government agencies never reach out asking for banking details or fees over phone/email. Only provide your Cash App info directly through official government sites.

10. Fake Payment Verification Scams

Scammers message you claiming there is an issue verifying your account or payment details. To fix it, they say you need to share sensitive information like your login code or password.

They‘re just trying to phish your account credentials. Cash App would never contact you this way or request your password.

How to avoid: Never share your Cash App password, PIN, or login codes with anyone. Cash App does not verify your identity by requesting sensitive account info.

11. Cash App Catfishing Scams

Catfishing scams prey on dating app and social media users. A scammer pretends to be a romantic interest to form a relationship and emotionally manipulate you.

Eventually they ask you to send cash for an “emergency.” Once you do, the scammer (who was fake all along) disappears with your money.

How to avoid: Be very wary of solely online romantic interests who quickly ask for financial help. Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.

12. Fake Transaction Scams

This scam starts with a message saying you sent them a payment and to please resend it because they didn‘t get it. There was no real transaction, but the scammer hopes you think you made a mistake and actually send money.

How to avoid: Review your activity feed to confirm you did not actually send a payment before responding to any claims that you paid someone.

13. Fake Account Suspension Scams

Scammers pretend your account is frozen and say you need to verify your identity to regain access. They instruct you to upload personal ID documents that they then use to steal your identity.

How to avoid: Cash App would never suspend your account without notice or have you submit ID over social media. Contact them directly if your account shows suspended.

11 Tips to Lock Down Your Cash App Account

While scammers run rampant, you’re not powerless to protect yourself. Here are 11 tips to secure your Cash App account and payments:

1. Review your privacy settings

Adjust your privacy settings so your profile and transaction history isn’t public. This prevents scammers from gathering info to better target you.

2. Link Cash App to a secondary bank account

Don’t use your primary checking account. Connect to a secondary account with limited funds in case your Cash App is compromised.

3. Use unique and complex passwords

Avoid reusing passwords across accounts. Use unpredictable phrases or random words that are hard to guess.

4. Enable two-factor authentication

Require a PIN sent to your phone in addition to your password for added log in security.

5. Review transactions frequently

Closely monitor your activity feed to catch unauthorized payments right away.

6. Keep software updated

Maintain the latest versions of Cash App and your phone OS to get important security fixes.

7. Watch out for red flags

Be vigilant for odd requests, guaranteed returns, login verifications, or account freezes. These signal scams.

8. Never share sensitive info

Never provide your password, PIN, SSN, or 2FA code to other users. Cash App will never ask for this.

9. Verify recipients

Double check $cashtags and names before sending payments to avoid misdirected funds.

10. Report suspicious activity

You can report shady users or payments directly within the Cash App interface.

11. Contact Cash App support

If you encounter fraud, notify Cash App support immediately to investigate and secure your account.

Implementing preventive measures significantly decreases your risks. But what should you do if you fall prey to a Cash App scam?

What to Do If You’re Targeted by Cash App Scammers

No one expects to get scammed until it happens. If you become the victim of Cash App fraud, here are the steps to take right away:

Step 1: Report the scam to Cash App

Alert Cash App support about any fraudulent payments, compromised accounts, stolen funds, or sensitive info breach. Provide details to aid their investigation and potentially reverse the damage.

You can contact support 24/7 within the app or at 1-855-351-2274.

Step 2: Notify your bank

If the scam impacted your bank account, call your bank immediately. Report unauthorized charges or suspicious activity. Your bank may be able to reverse payments and prevent further fraud.

Step 3: Monitor your credit and accounts

Check your credit report and keep close tabs on all linked financial accounts. Sign up for an identity theft protection service to detect any signs of ongoing fraud.

Step 4: Reset Cash App password and enable 2FA

If scammers gained account access, change your password immediately. Turn on two-factor authentication if you haven’t already for extra security.

Step 5: Block the scammer from contacting you

Prevent further interaction by blocking the scammer’s profile within Cash App. You can also report them to Cash App by forwarding their messages.

Step 6: File police reports

For large scam amounts, file reports with the FTC ( and your local police. This creates a paper trail if you need to dispute fraudulent transactions with your bank.

Step 7: Warning others

Post about the scam on sites like BBB Scam Tracker to help alert other users.

By taking swift action, you can contain the damage and prevent the scam from spreading further.

Cash App Scam FAQs

Let’s review answers to some frequently asked questions about Cash App scams:

How can you tell if a Cash App user is a scammer?

Red flags include:

  • Messaging you out of nowhere requesting money or account details
  • Promising guaranteed investment returns or prizes
  • Asking for sensitive info like your SSN, PIN, password
  • Providing payment details for somewhere other than their official Cash App account

Is it safe to accept money on Cash App from strangers?

It‘s generally unsafe to accept money from people you don’t know. While funds may initially clear, the sender could still dispute or reverse the payment later, meaning you‘d be liable.

What should you do if you think your Cash App was hacked?

Report unauthorized activity to Cash App immediately. Reset your password, enable 2FA if you haven’t already, and closely monitor linked accounts for any further fraud.

Can someone steal money just by having your Cash App username?

Not typically, as scammers need more account details like your password to access your funds. But be cautious providing any info to strangers, as scammers can use it in social engineering ploys.

Can Cash App recover scammed money that was stolen?

Unfortunately, Cash App states they cannot reverse or reimburse fraudulent payments in most cases. This makes avoiding scams through awareness and preventives so critical.

What’s the most common Cash App scam?

According to FTC data, the most prolific Cash App scam is buyers requesting refunds for incorrect or non-existent overpayments. This scam made up 25% of Cash App fraud reports in 2021.

Protect Yourself from Cash App Scams

As Cash App expands in popularity, users must stay vigilant against increasingly sneaky scammers. But you can use Cash App safely and confidently by taking these preventive measures:

  • Educate yourself on common Cash App scam techniques to recognize red flags
  • Turn on security features like two-factor authentication and login approvals
  • Never share sensitive login credentials or personal account details
  • Closely monitor your transaction feed and enable notifications
  • Report suspicious activity and users immediately
  • Sign up for identity theft monitoring to detect fraud across accounts

No payment platform is 100% foolproof. But following savvy security practices goes a long way in guarding your hard-earned dollars. With awareness and preventive measures, you can avoid Cash App scammers.

Stay safe out there, friend! Let me know if you have any other online security questions. I‘m always happy to help.


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.