Mobile payments are becoming the new normal. This has allowed companies such as Venmo to grow exponentially. With these new payment methods also come new risks, especially when users share payment information on social media.
Venmo Remains Incredibly Popular
There are many convenient modern payment methods on the market today. Very few of them will ever attain the level of success Venmo has reached. It is a great way to spend money, primarily when splitting bills or paying back friends and family members. Similar functionality can be found in most banking apps as well, but very few people utilize them for that specific purpose.
Venmo appears to strike a chord with younger users primarily. It is often seen as a platform to quickly send and request money from friends. Somehow, the developers of this service even managed to integrate some social media activity to make the experience more “fun”. Users can share how they completed or requested a payment on Twitter, Facebook, et cetera.
Being so public about one’s financial transactions isn’t necessarily a smart idea. Some people might not see the harm in sharing their Venmo usage with the world. Criminals are looking for those types of people, as they can be taken advantage of. Several users have received payment requests from unknown individuals.
A new Type of Scam?
Some analysts express concerns over this “social” behavior. The vast majority of payment requests from strangers are from accounts with profile pictures of women. This is seemingly a new ploy among criminals to attract as much money as possible. Some criminals even utilize profile pictures of musicians and other celebrities to make their requests seem more legitimate.
Once a user shares their Venmo transaction with the public, they immediately become a target for this type of criminal activity. It is not the first time such a scheme appears, although it hasn’t affected the payment app on a large scale until recently. There is a limit as to how much financial information people should share on social media. Not giving up those details at all is often the best course of action.
There is an Easy Solution
Venmo users who are concerned for their safety can undertake a few easy actions. Rather than forcing people not to share details on social media, it can simply be turned off within the app’s settings. If transactions are set to public – the default setting for everyone – users can go to “Settings”, “Privacy”, and then change the Default Privacy Setting.
Once this option is enabled, the user in question is safe. Even if they conduct a transaction with someone else who still has a public transaction record, the “private’ setting will be honored. Venmo will always prioritize the restrictive setting between user accounts first and foremost.