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Is Cash App Safe? How To Avoid Scams

Cash App has revolutionized how we send and receive money, offering a quick and convenient way to split bills, pay friends, or even get paid by your employer. But this popularity and convenience have also attracted scammers looking to exploit unsuspecting users. 

Worse, Cash App scams are on the rise and have become more sophisticated, and getting caught up in one of these scams could wipe you out financially.

That’s why we put this comprehensive Cash App safety guide together. It will teach you how to spot common Cash App frauds, what tricks scammers employ, and – above all – how to protect yourself.

How Cash App scams work

Cash App scams are carefully crafted to manipulate your emotions and trick you into giving up your money or personal information. Knowing how they work is essential to protecting yourself. 

Let's break down some of the most common Cash App scams you need to watch out for:

1. Payment scams

These scams typically involve the scammer offering goods or services that seem too good to be true. 

They might advertise concert tickets at a steep discount, electronics far below market price, or even claim to be selling a puppy or kitten and instruct you to pay using Cash App while promising fast delivery.

They disappear once you’ve sent the money, leaving you with a lighter wallet.

How to spot them: Be wary of deals that seem unbelievably good. Always research the seller, and never send money to someone you don't know or haven't verified. If available, opt for the MarketPlace built-in payment system. Avoid sellers who pressure you to pay quickly.

2. Refund scams

A scammer poses as a Cash App customer service representative, claiming an error with your account or a recent transaction. They'll ask you to send them money to "correct" the error. They vanish once you send the money, and you're without both the initial payment and the "refund" you sent.

They could also offer a refund and request your sign-in code or PIN to process it. Instead of receiving a refund, the scammer gains access to your money and clears your account.

How to spot them: Legitimate businesses won't ask you to send money to get a refund. Similarly, Cash App will never ask for your login credentials via email, text, or social media. Always verify refund requests through official Cash App channels.

3. Account takeover scams

These scams often start with a phishing email or text message. The message appears to be from Cash App, urging you to click on a link to update your account information, verify a payment, or resolve another issue. 

The link will take you to a phony Cash App website where you’ll be prompted to input your login information. Once the scammer obtains your login credentials, they can access your account and embezzle your money.

How to spot them: Never click on links in unsolicited emails or text messages. Always go directly to the Cash App website or app to log in.

4. Bitcoin scams

Scammers have taken advantage of Cash App's Bitcoin feature.

They might promise you huge returns on a Bitcoin investment if you send them a certain amount through Cash App. They might also claim to be giving away free Bitcoin if you send them a small amount to "verify" your account. 

These are both scams. Once you send the money, you'll never see it again.

How to spot them: Be highly skeptical of any investment opportunity or giveaway that seems too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

5. Social media scams

Scammers increasingly use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X, and Snapchat to target unsuspecting victims. 

They might impersonate friends or family and request a quick loan via Cash App. They may also create fake profiles or groups that promise to "double your money" if you send them a certain amount.

How to spot them: Be wary of anyone on social media who asks you to send money, especially if you don't know them well. Always verify the identity of anyone you're interacting with online, and never share your personal information or Cash App login credentials.

Cash App will never contact you via call, text, email, or social media to request your PIN or sign-in code. Always use their official support channels to confirm the identity of anyone claiming to be from Cash App.

Recognizing red flags

Being able to spot red flags is your first line of defense against falling victim to a Cash App scam. You can significantly reduce risk by training your eye to recognize suspicious patterns.

Suspicious messages and links

Phishing scams often start with unsolicited emails, texts, or direct messages on social media. These messages might appear to be from Cash App, but they're designed to trick you into giving up your personal information.

1. Unofficial email addresses: Legitimate Cash App emails will come from an official domain like @cash.app, @square.com, or @squareup.com. Be wary of emails from other addresses.

2. Requests for personal information: Cash App will never ask for your sign-in code, PIN, Social Security number, or debit card information via email, text, or social media.

3. Generic greetings: Scammers often use generic greetings like "Dear customer" or "Dear User” instead of your name.

4. Typos and grammatical errors: Phishing messages often contain spelling and grammar mistakes.

5. Urgent or threatening language: Scammers might try to scare you into clicking a link by saying your account has been compromised or that you must act quickly to avoid being blocked.

Unusual payment requests

Legitimate sellers, businesses, or friends will never ask you to:

1. Pay upfront for a refund: This is a common tactic in refund scams.

2. Send money to verify your identity or unlock your account: Cash App will never require payment for these purposes.

3. Provide your sign-in code or PIN: These codes protect your account. Never share them with anyone.

4. Pay with gift cards or Bitcoin: Legitimate sellers will accept payment through the Cash App platform.

Emotional triggers

1. Creating a sense of urgency: Scammers often try to pressure you into acting quickly by saying an offer is about to expire or that there's limited availability.

2. Offering incentives: They might promise a bonus or discount if you send money immediately.

3. Impersonating authority figures: Scammers might pretend to be from Cash App customer support or another trusted organization.

Too good to be true offers

If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of promises like:

1. Investment schemes promising guaranteed returns: These are often Ponzi schemes designed to steal money.

2. Giveaways or contests that require payment to enter or claim a prize: Legitimate giveaways are free.

3. "Get rich quick" schemes: There's no easy way to make a fortune overnight.

Securing your money on Cash App

Taking proactive steps to secure your Cash App account is the best way to protect yourself from scams. Here are some essential security practices and tips to stay vigilant:

Security best practices

1. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): 2FA adds an extra degree of protection by requiring a unique code – typically sent to your registered phone number – in addition to your password to log in. In the Cash App, to enable 2FA:

  • Tap the profile icon on the Cash App home page.
  • Select "Privacy & Security."
  • Turn on "Two-Factor Authentication."
  • Follow the prompts to link your phone number or email address.

2. Use strong, unique passwords: Your Cash App password should have a minimum length of eight characters, including a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Don't use the same password across several accounts.

3. Review your account activity: Review your transaction history regularly for unauthorized transactions or charges. If you see anything questionable, report it to Cash App immediately.

4. Use a reputable VPN: A VPN encrypts your internet connection, making it much harder for hackers to intercept your data. Choose a reputable VPN and use it whenever you access Cash App on public Wi-Fi to safeguard your data and transactions.

Staying vigilant

1. Double-check recipient information: Before sending money, always double-check the recipient's $Cashtag (username), phone number, or email address to ensure it's correct. Scammers often use similar-looking usernames or handles to trick you, and a single typo could send your money to the wrong person.

2. Verify requests from friends or family: If a friend or family member asks for money, verify their request through another channel, like a phone call or text message, before sending any funds. Scammers often impersonate friends and family members to trick you into sending money.

3. Never share your login credentials or PIN: Cash App will never ask you for your sign-in code, PIN, or other sensitive information via email, text message, or social media. Never share these details with anyone, even if they claim to be from Cash App support.

4. Be cautious of unsolicited offers: Ignore unsolicited offers for free money, investments, or refunds. These are almost always scams.

5. Beware of unsolicited requests: Never send money to someone you don't know or have yet to verify. Be cautious of requests that come through social media or other online platforms.

6. Link a credit card: Consider linking a credit card to your Cash App account instead of a debit card. Credit cards offer better fraud protection than debit cards.

7. Limit your exposure: Only keep the money you need for transactions in your Cash App account.

8. Report suspicious activity: If you notice any suspicious activity on your account, immediately report it to Cash App.

9. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. Don't hesitate to refuse a request for money or information if you feel uncomfortable.

What to do if you've been scammed

Discovering you've been scammed can be a stressful experience, but taking swift action is crucial. Here's what you need to do if you've fallen victim to a Cash App scam:

1. Report to Cash App

  • Open the Cash App and tap the profile icon.
  • Tap "Support."
  • Select "Report a Payment Issue."
  • Choose the payment and follow the prompts to provide details about the scam.

2. Contact your bank or credit card company: If you linked a debit or credit card to Cash App, immediately notify your financial institution about the fraudulent transaction. They can help you dispute the charges and recover your funds.

3. File a complaint with the FTC: Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website and report the scam. This helps authorities track scam patterns and potentially take action against the perpetrators.

4. Change your passwords: As a precaution, change your Cash App password and any other online passwords you may have shared with the scammer. Consider enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) for added security.

5. Gather evidence: Save screenshots of conversations, payment details, and other relevant information that could help with the investigation.

6. Beware of recovery scams: Be wary of anyone who contacts you, offering to recover your lost funds for a fee. These are often secondary scams.

The key to recovering your money is acting quickly. The sooner you report the scam and take action, the higher your chances of getting your funds back.

Cash App's security features

Cash App takes security seriously, employing several measures to protect your financial information. 

The app utilizes advanced encryption technology to safeguard your data during transmission and storage. This means your sensitive information is scrambled into unreadable code, making it difficult for hackers to intercept and decipher.

Additionally, Cash App employs robust fraud monitoring systems that constantly analyze transactions for suspicious activity. These systems can detect unusual patterns and flag potentially fraudulent payments, helping to keep your money safe.

While these security features provide a significant layer of protection, no system is foolproof. Scammers are constantly evolving their tactics, and it's important to remain vigilant and take personal responsibility for your online security.

One way to enhance your security when using Cash App is by using a VPN. VPNs create a secure, encrypted connection between your device and the internet, making it much harder for hackers to intercept your data. This is particularly important when using public Wi-Fi, which is often unsecured and vulnerable to eavesdropping.

Best VPNs for Cash App in 2024 

Investing in a reliable VPN is a smart move to fortify your Cash App security, especially on public Wi-Fi. Beyond protecting your transactions, VPNs offer added benefits like bypassing geo-restrictions and enhancing your overall online privacy.

Here are our three best VPNs that safeguard your data in Cash App and anywhere else. For a deep dive, check out our in-depth VPN reviews of every VPN worldwide.

1. ExpressVPN
Editor's Choice | July 2024

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Fast speeds
    • Secure access to Cash App globally
    • Audited no-logs policy
    • Easy-to-use apps for all platforms
  • Cons

    • Slightly more expensive than other providers
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

ExpressVPN is known for its blazing-fast speeds, making it ideal for seamless Cash App transactions. 


It boasts a vast network of servers in over 105 countries, ensuring you can access Cash App securely from virtually anywhere in the world. 


With robust security features like military-grade encryption and a strict no-logs policy, ExpressVPN prioritizes your privacy. 


While a bit pricier, starting at $6.67/month (billed annually), its performance and security are worth the investment.


Read our ExpressVPN review and test it risk-free thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      86% OFF
    • 12 months + 3 months FREE: $2.79/mth
      82% OFF
    • 1 month: $15.45/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • A low cost provider
    • Excellent security features
  • Cons

    • Lacks dedicated IPs
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN that doesn't skimp on security. 


It offers unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning you can protect all your devices with a single subscription. 


Surfshark's CleanWeb feature blocks ads, trackers, and malware, providing an added layer of protection against phishing scams and malicious links. Surfshark boasts strong encryption, a kill-switch, and leak protection to secure your data.


With servers in over 100 countries, you'll have no trouble accessing Cash App while traveling or living abroad.


Its user-friendly apps are available for various platforms, and it also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee at just $2.49/month (billed annually).Read these features in-depth and learn many more in our Surfshark review.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
      70% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Global coverage for accessing Cash App
    • Audited zero-logs policy
    • User-friendly GUI
  • Cons

    • Lacks port forwarding
    • No free trial
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

NordVPN is a popular choice for security-conscious users. 


With over 6,000 servers in 111+ countries, NordVPN offers excellent global coverage for securely accessing Cash App.


It offers a wide range of advanced features, including 256-bit AES encryption and CyberSec, which block ads and malicious websites. NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy, and has been independently audited to verify its privacy claims. 


NordVPN’s easy-to-use apps and a 30-day money-back guarantee make it a solid choice, starting at $3.99/month (billed annually).


Read our NordVPN review for in-depth analysis.


 

Cash App FAQs

Conclusion

Cash App offers undeniable convenience, but it's crucial to stay informed and proactive about potential scams. Understanding common tactics, recognizing red flags, and implementing strong security practices can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim.

Never share your personal information – keep it private, always verify requests through official channels, and be wary of offers that seem too good to be true. 

Share this guide with your friends and family to help them protect themselves. Let's make Cash App a safer place for everyone!

Written by: Conor Walsh

Conor is a tech writer with professional paranoia. He's passionate about privacy, and when not writing about it, can be found trying to get far away from his phone and any other technology, enjoying some live music, outdoorsy stuff, or a good (physical) book.

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