Cash App has grown in popularity — and so have Cash App scams. The peer-to-peer mobile payment service lets users transfer money to one another using a mobile phone app.
Here’s what you need to know about Cash App scams to safeguard your hard-earned money.
Common Cash App Scams and How They Work
Cash App is a great money transfer platform, but it comes with dangers users should watch out for. The first step to protecting yourself and your money is knowing the most common schemes fraudsters use to rip you off. Here are the top Cash App scams:
1. Cash App Flipping
Scammers monitor the comment threads during Cash App giveaways looking for commenters to target. They direct message users to convince them they’re successful Cash App “flippers” who can turn a small sum of cash into larger amounts of money. Once they persuade a user to give them an amount of money to flip, they disappear with the funds. People engaging in this scam might refer to participants as a “money circle.”
2. Fraudulent Payment Claims
Similar to cash flipping, payment claim scams involve fraudsters convincing unsuspecting Cash App users that they’re entitled to a payment, and to claim it, they must first send a smaller amount of cash. Cash App says it will never request funds from a customer, and it’s not possible to claim payment by sending money to Cash App.
3. Pet Sale Scams
Con artists often offer pets at unusually low rates and insist that they be shipped as opposed to picked up in person, and the seller demands payment via cash transfer. Of course, the pet never arrives, and the victim takes the hit without recourse, as Cash App doesn’t guarantee refunds.
4. Rental Scams
Cash App warns users to be on the lookout for apartment and home rental deposit scams. The fraudster purports to have an unusually low-priced rental available but says you have to transfer money for a deposit before you can see it.
5. Fraudulent #CashAppFriday or #SuperCashAppFriday Giveaways
Clever fraudsters use comments on legitimate giveaways to post fraudulent giveaways with similar themes. By creating a similar giveaway campaign and asking Cash App users to retweet it, the fake campaign gets shared with others. Scammers also ask users to reply with and/or send them a direct message with their $cashtags to “award” them.
6. Investment Scams
Since Cash App allows the purchase of Bitcoin within the app, it is no surprise that Cash App users have seen an increase in investment scams, often for fraudulent cryptocurrency offerings. Scammers send out emails and messages for fake can’t-miss investment opportunities with the hope that some people will fail to do due diligence before revealing financial information or investing.
7. Fake Referral Bonuses
Scammers promise a small referral payment in exchange for a user signing up for services from companies such as Dosh. The tricksters earn the company’s $10 per-person incentive but don’t pay the referral bonus they promised after the user signs up.
Cash App Scams and Giveaway Campaigns
Cash App’s soaring popularity comes from weekly cash giveaway campaigns like #CashAppFriday. Users become eligible for cash giveaways if they engage with the app on social media platforms by retweeting or replying to posts with their $cashtag — the user’s unique ID for sending and receiving money.
Scammers are targeting Cash App users and their $cashtags on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. These cons have begun to replace scams involving wire transfers or prepaid debit cards, the Better Business Bureau reports, leaving victims blocked by the scammer as soon as they send the funds.
8. Cash App Impersonation and Phishing Scams
Cash App warns about impersonators conducting phishing scams. Pretending to be a Cash App service representative, the fraudster reaches out to a user by email, social media, phone or text to collect personal or financial information. Some fraudsters even direct victims to fake websites the fraudsters have created as part of their phishing scams, or they con the user into giving them access to their phone. Once there, any information the victim enters is illegally captured by the impersonator.
9. COVID-19 Program Scams
Sadly, the pandemic has offered scammers another way to trick people into revealing their financial and personal information. Scammers message potential victims, offering fake COVID-19 aid through grants or relief programs, application for which requires financial information.
10. Fake Accidental Transactions
Scammers create a fake Cash App receipt as proof that they mistakenly sent money to your Cash App account. They send a screenshot of the receipt as well as a request for you to return the money with the hope you will do so without first verifying the transaction.
11. Fake Purchase Scams
Fake purchase scams are similar to fake accidental transaction scams, except the scammer agrees to buy something you are selling and to pay using Cash App. However, the scammer never sends the money, and the scammer claims they accidentally sent you two payments through Cash App and may create fake Cash App receipts as proof. Then, they harass you hoping you’ll reimburse them without checking the legitimacy of the transactions.
12. Gift Card Scams
Cash App scammers try to con unsuspecting individuals out of gift cards before the scammers “pay” out the individuals’ Cash App giveaway money. They reach out to victims with a request that the victims purchase prepaid gift cards from local retailers or popular websites on the scammer’s behalf, to earn the scammer’s trust. The victims share the card information with the scammer to prove they’ve made the purchase, and the scammer uses the card information to essentially steal the card without ever paying out the Cash App giveaway money.
13. Catfishing Scams
Peer-to-peer apps have made it easy for catfishers — that is, those who create fake social media and dating profiles to start online relationships with unsuspecting victims — to part victims with their money. The catfisher romances the victim online and then banks on the victim’s love to fulfill their requests for money and cover an emergency or even book a trip for a face-to-face visit that never happens.
14. Customer Service Impersonator
In this scam, the fraudster pretends to be a customer service representative reaching out to the user about their account balance or an issue related to their account usage. Once the user shares their information with the fake rep, they soon find that their account has been emptied.
How To Avoid Cash App Scams
To avoid falling for transfer app fraud and other types of online money-transfer scams, there are certain things to remember:
Tips for Protecting Yourself:
- Never disclose your personally identifiable information online, through social media or over the phone. Scammers lurk on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
- Know how to spot fake Cash App emails. Any Cash App emails that do not come from the @cashapp, @square.com or @squareup.com domains are not legitimate.
- Don’t use Cash App to buy pets, tickets or other items from people you don’t know.
- Avoid direct messaging with strangers promising to reward you with a cash prize.
- In the event that you get an email or text message announcing you’ve won a prize or reward but need to send money first, don’t click on any links.
- Never agree to send someone money or make a purchase in return for a payment or reward.
- Be wary of prices that look too good to be true. They usually are.
- Avoid letting too much cash accumulate in your account — the more you store there, the more you stand to lose if you get scammed.
- Never share account or personal information with someone who contacts you claiming to be a Cash App customer service rep or other employees.
- Always contact customer support directly through the app or website if you need to verify that everything’s okay with your account. If you must call Cash App customer support, obtain the phone number directly from the Cash App website rather than trusting an unknown site found through a web search.
- Before you send cash to someone, double-check to make sure it’s going to the correct person.
You also should protect your Cash App account from anyone who gains physical access to your phone. Secure your phone with biometric authentication or a strong password and secure Cash App by turning on two-factor authentication within the app. Enable the security lock setting so your passcode is required to complete any transaction.
Turn on notifications in your Cash App profile settings to receive an alert whenever a payment is made from your account so that you’re immediately alerted to fraudulent transactions.
Finally, keep your sign-in code private. “No one representing Cash App will ever ask for your sign-in code over the phone, on social media, or through any other medium. If you believe that you have fallen victim to a phishing scam, please change your Cash App PIN immediately and report the incident,” Cash App warns its users.
What To Do If You’re the Victim of a Scam
If you’ve been scammed, first dispute the transaction through Cash App in case there is a chance of getting a refund. To dispute a potentially fraudulent transaction:
- Log in to Cash App.
- Locate the fraudulent transaction under the Activity tab and select it.
- Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the app.
- Tap “Need Help & Cash App Support.”
- Tap “Dispute this Transaction.”
Cash App will investigate the transaction, but you may not get your money back. However, reporting scammers to Cash App can help its team stay on top of potential scam accounts. Moreover, report scam incidents to the FTC, which can build a case against scammers.
Finally, contact your financial institutions if you feel your accounts or other financial information like your bank account number has been compromised. Replace credit or debit cards and monitor your accounts for unusual activity.
Cash App Scams: If It’s Too Good To Be True, Beware
Fraudsters are always working to find ways to take your money. It’s up to you to stay vigilant and informed of how they con people out of their cash.
Cash App’s giveaways might be legitimate but beware of the shady individuals who target users through direct messages or phone calls looking for free funds. Money rarely comes without strings attached — when someone contacts you with promises of fast cash out of nowhere, it’s likely a scam.
Cash App Support FAQsThese are answers to common questions that people ask about what to expect from Cash App Support and giveaways to avoid fake customer service and giveaway scams.
- Does Cash App have customer service via phone support?
- You can contact Cash App Support by calling 1-800-969-1940. However, the Cash App recommends using the app as the easiest way to contact support.
- Will Cash App Support ask for personal or account information?
- Cash App Support may need your personal or account information to assist you, such as your legal name, phone number, email address, or the last three or four digits of your linked bank account or card. However, Cash App Support will never ask for your login code, Cash App PIN, or your full bank account number and information, nor will it ask you to download any remote access app or make a payment or purchase to complete a test transaction.
- Does Cash App ever give away free money?
- Yes, Cash App gives away free money through periodic sweepstakes via its official Twitter account, @CashApp, and winnings are sent from a verified Cash App account that displays a blue checkmark. Cash App giveaways will never require you to provide your PIN or sign-in code.
Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article.
This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication. Information is accurate as of Oct. 19, 2022.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.