How the Venmo $1000 Scam Works
The scammer may have used a stolen credit card number to send you money. You actually see the money sitting there in your account and you do not really know that this person is a criminal. So you do it.
Most likely, the scammer withdraws the money to their Venmo card instead of back on the original credit card. They might also delete the stolen credit card from their account and submit their own card in its place so that the money you are sending them goes to their personal card.
First, you might wonder how anyone could make such a ridiculous mistake as to send you $1,000. Sadly, it happens. With Venmo, you do not have to have any kind of approval in order to look up someone’s name and try to send them money. However, that is exactly what the scammers are counting on.
Second, you might be tempted to think, “It is not affecting me in any way, so I do not mind sending it back to them.” That can be a dangerous tactic, though. It is unclear whether or not this scam is actually impacting the recipient of the money, but more importantly, you would now be taking part in money laundering of stolen funds.
Third, there is that little voice that might be telling you, “You do not have to send this money back! After all, you would be stealing from a scammer. They deserve it!” Not exactly. Remember, the money still came from someone’s stolen credit card and that person is a victim. When the victim discovers the charge on their card and sees that it is a Venmo transaction, the company may be more than happy to tell them which Venmo user it went to. In this case, that would be you.
Some users affected by this Venmo scam have reported that they tried to contact Venmo and the results were not very reassuring; they were simply told, “Sure, refund the money.” After all, accidents do legitimately happen.
If you are at all concerned about how this Venmo scam could affect you, reach out to law enforcement for support. Some forum users have stated they returned the money only after waiting for a reasonable amount of time, but again, that advice is more for avoiding a fake check scam. You can also contact Venmo and discuss suspending your account once you do return the money so that no further transactions can go through from that sender.