Venmo app bait & switch

BBB Consumer Alerts
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Venmo is a popular money transfer app used for everything from paying a co-worker back to selling an item online. In reality there is nothing wrong with the app. The problem rests with those who use this app to scam other people.

If you post a high value item for sale with an online marketplace and you receive an offer to purchase the product using Venmo to transfer the payment, be very careful.

Venmo app
Venmo app

A scam artist will send the payment through Venmo. This triggers a payment received message to you from Venmo. So it okay to ship. Right? Not necessarily. Since it takes several days for transfers to clear completely through Venmo, scammers are taking advantage of this interval to cancel the transaction.

Then you are in trouble, if you have already shipped your item. Con artists will take your item and disappear, leaving you with little hope of recovering it.

  1. Best practice. Use the online marketplace payment process. Safeguards are typically in place to help protect sellers from fraud.
  2. State that a product will ship once payment has cleared the account attached to your app. Then be sure to check that account before shipping.


For more information and tips on how to avoid this scam, go to Scammers Use Venmo to Fool Sellers.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to