College Student Hacked for $3,000 Serves as Warning of Venmo’s Security Issues

Venmo is a popular payment app that’s risen in use especially among young people, as it allows users to send money to another person’s account using only banking account information, without fees or credit card information.

The app’s security and reimbursement issues, however, have consistently been called into question. A professional poker player Mohsin Charania told Slate earlier this year that his account was hacked for more than $2,000 in December of 2014. He tried to contact Venmo through their contact form and tweets, all no avail. It wasn’t until he had a friend write an article publicizing his situation that he was finally contacted by Venmo for reimbursement.

Another recent example of Venmo’s lack of security comes from 21-year-old Brant Trinh, a senior at Cal State Long Beach who lives in Westminster, California. Today, Trinh, only an occasional Venmo user over the last year, posted a report to his Facebook wall that someone had hacked into his Venmo account and stolen $3,000 from him:

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“So yesterday, I got a very late message from Chase saying that ” I ” had sent two large payments to a guy named Tyler Hill. I got hacked on Venmo and advise everyone to be very cautious about using this app. Venmo does not alert you when someone else has logged on, nor does it alert you when you have sent a transaction. Venmo doesn’t have a contact number and required me to email them/ tweet at them. Now I have to close my bank account, open a new one, wait for the investigations team from Chase (5-90 days), and basically be in the hole until then. That’s all I have to say…”

“I sent them an email and a tweet,” Trinh told NextShark. “They actually replied to my tweet asking for my email and phone number around 8-10 a.m. today. I haven’t gotten a reply from them ever since.”

While the Paypal-owned Venmo has proven itself to be a great product when it comes to providing a solution to easily transferring money, it falls short in responding to and protecting its customers from money theft. As Trinh stated in his Facebook post, Venmo has no contact number, so finding direct and immediate help in cases of theft are challenging.

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Like the many others before him who have had their money go missing through Venmo, Trinh has been left mostly in the dark. Asked if he had a timetable for when he would be able to recoup his money, Trinh said:

“No idea, I’m letting [my bank] handle the investigation, because I also read other articles that people haven’t had much luck with Venmo’s customer service — they just let their banks handle it.”

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