How not to fall for Cash App scams

Anton P. | June 14, 2022

Cash App scams involve fraudsters targeting this quick payment app and its user communities. Scammers can impersonate legit customer support services and require clients’ personal information, like PIN codes. Furthermore, Cash App’s giveaways on social media can appear harmless, but they inspired many imposter posts.

Regardless, Cash App is a trusted app for quick money transfers between friends and family. Sadly, it is possible to stumble upon fake Cash App deals and customer support phone numbers. Social media is also a fertile ground for Cash App scams like fake raffles or giveaways.

What is Cash App? The essence of P2P payments

Cash App (initially Square Cash) is a peer-to-peer or P2P payment service, similar to providers like Venmo or Zelle. It enables users to send and receive money quickly between trusted parties. However, Cash App users must be from the US or the UK. The service does not provide its services elsewhere.

Cash App is not a bank institution but a financial platform. Various bank partners collaborate with it and help provide necessary services like insurance.

  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) covers money in Cash App accounts if the service goes bust. However, the FDIC does not offer refund possibilities if clients lose their money to scammers. The FDIC insurance also does not apply to Bitcoin and investing balance.
  • Cash App has some fundamental protections against fraudulent activities or mistakes. For instance, you can dispute transactions if you fall for Cash App scams. However, there are no guarantees that victims will receive their money back.

The most common Cash App scams

Cash App scams work on two levels:

  • Convincing people to transfer money.
  • Tricking people into revealing personal information like a PIN or sign-in codes.

Fraudsters use various techniques to achieve these goals. They might contact targets directly or cast a broader net. Also, users who have engaged with Cash App social media posts could be potential prey.

Phishing emails claiming to be from Cash App

Cash App scams can involve messages claiming to be from the service. Their recipients can be random, including people who are not Cash App users.

However, scammers can hand-select targets they know to be clients of Cash App. Official giveaways are one of the known strategies for creating a database of potential victims.

The Cash App scams delivered via emails or SMS messages aim to convince users of various scenarios:

  • Security alerts about Cash App accounts getting compromised. Such fake notifications can urge targets to click on phishing links or call bogus numbers for support.
  • Fake payment alerts from or to your account. Cash App scams can notify you of recently made transactions. These emails will likely feature embedded buttons or links fraudsters urge to click on.

Huge payouts in exchange for an initial fee

Some Cash App scams can lure people with too-good-to-be-true payouts available only after users pay advance fees. Fraudsters will likely describe the initial payments as necessary for covering transaction costs.

Such messages can pretend to be coming from Cash App directly. However, it can also originate from other fake sources choosing Cash App as the payment method.

Bogus Cash App giveaway programs

#CashAppFriday seemed like a harmless initiative incorporating social media and the excitement of a giveaway. Unfortunately, it started a trend for many Cash App scams.

Essentially, the original idea meant users retweeted or shared Cash App’s social media posts. This action was their lottery ticket, meaning they had a chance to win money. Furthermore, the official giveaway clearly stated that participation required no payment on the users’ ends.

Many fraudsters adopted this idea, releasing posts on social media with #CashAppFriday promotional tags. Such Cash App scams changed the rules of giveaways, either requiring users’ personal information or entry payments.

Cash App support scams: posing as customer support

Some Cash App scams involve fraudsters posing as customer support. They might call, message or email their targets. In other cases, they might set up phony websites imitating Cash App and add fake customer support numbers.

It is also possible to insert bogus ads at the top of Google Search results. Then, the first entries concerned users see are those placed by scammers.

Such Cash App scams will likely be after clients’ personal information like sign-in or PIN codes. However, Cash App clearly states that customer support or company representatives will never need such details.

Cash App offers support via its application. The only phone number to contact for more urgent cases is 1 (800) 969-1940.

Receiving money on Cash App from an unknown source

After opening your Cash App account, you might notice a significant increase in your balance. There is no need to celebrate, as it can be one of the Cash App scams.

Essentially, scammers send money as bait, hoping you contact them or withdraw the money. For instance, the payments could originate from illegitimate sources, which could trigger issues in the future.

You can report such unknown transactions to Cash App, and they should safely undo them.

Rental, puppy, or marketplace scams

Many Cash App scams take advantage of the fact that P2P services cannot guarantee refunds. So, fraudsters can name them as the preferred payment method when selling goods online.

For instance, you might spot a Facebook Marketplace post on a new puppy litter. Say you pick your new best friend, and the breeder tells you to pay an advance fee. Sadly, they disappear on you, never responding to your messages about the new family member.

Since there is little buyer protection on Cash App, never pay for goods via this method without verification. Arrange to meet the seller in person or have other undeniable proof that your payment won’t go to waste.

Avoiding Cash App scams: red flags to look for

We recommend following these tips to steer clear of Cash App scams:

  • Never reveal personal information over the phone, email, or social media.
  • Transfer money via Cash App or other P2P payment platforms to people you trust.
  • Be suspicious of sellers online requiring payments via Cash App.
  • Double-check Cash App customer service numbers before contacting them.
  • Do not believe any social media post claiming to run a Cash App giveaway. Check whether it is the official account.
  • Report money transfers from unknown sources to your Cash App account.
  • Only US and UK users are eligible for Cash App services. Offers to join it outside these countries are bogus.
  • Do not click on random links or buttons embedded in email or text messages.
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Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.

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