Are You Getting Scammed on Cash App?
Janeiro Starks had safely used the Cash App platform for three years, but that all changed when his $21,000 insurance check was stuck as “pending” in his account [*].
First, Starks contacted Cash App via email, but they needed time to investigate the transaction. So, in a rush to receive his money, he Googled “Cash App support” and was taken to a legitimate looking website, complete with the Cash App logo.
He called the phone number listed on the site, and the support rep asked for his login PIN to “fix” the problem. But as soon as he hung up, the money disappeared from his account.
Starks was the victim of a Cash App scam. And unfortunately, he’s not the only one.
Scammers have flocked to Cash App because they know they can take advantage of its speed, anonymity, and confusion for users about how payment apps work.
If you want to use Cash App safely, you must understand how these scams work, what to look out for, and how to keep your account safe.
Is Cash App Safe?
Yes, the Cash App platform is safe.
Cash App uses the latest fraud detection technology, machine learning, and cutting-edge encryption to secure your money and data. When you initiate a transfer, your information is encrypted, and you’re secured by Cash App’s vulnerability management suite that protects you from scammers.
But what about human factors that machines can’t defend against?
How Cash App Scams Work
Money transfer apps are quick and convenient ways to pay friends and family or split bills. But there’s a huge danger that not everyone knows about: Once you send money via Cash App, there’s almost no way to get it back.
Sending money on Cash App (or similar mobile payment apps like Zelle and Venmo) is like physically handing someone cash.
Your money isn’t FDIC insured, like it would be in your bank account. So, if you get scammed on Cash App, you have no protection or recourse to reclaim your money. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) only 3.7% of people scammed on Cash App were able to recover their funds [*].
Fraudsters prey on this human element to scam millions of users. A scammer might trick you into giving up your Cash App login details, fool you into thinking you’ve won a prize, or entice you into sharing financial information needed to invest in a “guaranteed” investment.
Don’t Get Scammed! How To Protect Yourself From Cash App Scams
The unfortunate truth is that Cash App transfers are like cash. If you send a scammer money over Cash App or provide them with any personal information, you could be at risk of identity theft and other types of financial fraud.
Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from Cash App scams:
- Only use Cash App with people you know and trust. Treat Cash App transfers like cash — once they’re gone, it’s nearly impossible to get it back. Also, never accept payments from people you don’t know and report any account that randomly requests money from you.
- Regularly check your credit report and bank statements. Cash App scammers are almost always after access to your financial accounts. Be on the lookout for the warning signs of identity theft — such as strange charges on your bank statement or accounts you don’t recognize. An identity theft protection service like Aura can monitor your credit report and bank statements for you and alert you to any signs of fraud.
- Consider signing up for identity theft protection. Aura’s top-rated identity theft protection monitors all of your most sensitive personal information, online accounts, and finances for signs of fraud. If a scammer on Cash App tries to access your accounts or finances, Aura can help you take action before it’s too late. Try Aura’s 14-day free trial for immediate protection while you’re most vulnerable.
Scammers are coming up with new potential Cash App scams every day. So, what schemes should you be on the lookout for?
The 14 Latest Cash App Scams To Avoid
- Phishing emails and fake websites
- Cash “flipping” scams
- Fake Cash App customer support websites
- Cash App cryptocurrency and Bitcoin scams
- #CashAppFridays and #SuperCashAppFriday giveaways
- Fake Cash App payment notifications
- People “accidentally” sending you money on Cash App
- Fake security alerts
- Scammers selling hard-to-find items
- Coronavirus scams on Cash App
- Scammers asking for your SSN
- Receiving fake Cash App debit cards in the mail
- Scammers requesting gift cards
- Romance scams on Cash App
Here are in-depth details about these Cash App scams and how to spot them before you get scammed.
1. Phishing emails and fake websites that steal your Cash App login details
Phishing occurs when fraudsters pose as legitimate people, organizations, or websites with the goal of stealing your personal information. Most phishing attacks happen via email, but you can also receive fake text messages (smishing), phone calls (vishing), or even end up on phishing websites (pharming).
Cash App scammers send emails using the Cash App logo and a similar-looking email address to try and trick you into “verifying” your Cash App account information and password. Or, they might try to get you to click on a link that will take you to a phishing site that steals your information.
According to the FBI, phishing was the most common online threat in 2020, with over 241,342 victims [*].
⚠️ How to spot a Cash App phishing scam:
- You receive an email that doesn’t come from one of the official Cash App domains (@Square.com, @Cash.app, or @Squareup.com).
- The email, message, or call uses threatening language or creates a sense of urgency to try to get you to act quickly. For example, the scammer may claim your account has been hacked and ask for your password to confirm your identity.
- The sender asks for your sensitive information or wants you to click on a link to a third-party website. The real Cash App team will never ask you for your password or login information.
- When you click on a link, it takes you to a website that shows signs of a phishing scam. This could include an unsecure domain (one that uses “HTTP” instead of “HTTPS”), grammatical and spelling errors, strange design, or an unofficial domain name.
How to report phishing scams to Cash App:
If you receive a suspicious email, text, call, or social media message, report it to Cash App through the app or at https://cash.app/help.
Remember, there is only one Cash App customer support phone number: 1-800-969-1940. It’s an automated line that redirects you to get support inside the app. If someone asks you to call a different number — or if you call and someone answers claiming to work for Cash App — it’s a scam.
Pro tip: Protect your online accounts and sensitive information from scammers with identity theft protection. Aura constantly monitors your financial accounts, online accounts, passwords, and more for signs of fraud, and alerts you faster than the competition so that you can shut scammers down.
2. Cash “flipping” scams that promise big returns for small investments
Cash flipping refers to scammers offering to “flip” your money with a promise of guaranteed higher returns.
Scammers reach out to Cash App users on social media platforms (such as Twitter or Instagram) and promote get-rich-quick schemes. For example, a fraudster will post screenshots of fake cash alerts from “happy investors” to lure unsuspecting victims.
They’ll often start small — promising to turn $200 into $1,000 — and offer a “money-back guarantee” if you’re not happy. Sometimes, they’ll flip a small amount to gain your trust before scamming you out of larger amounts.
“Cash flipping” scammers use Cash App because the money is transferred instantly and can’t be returned. Any money you send will disappear, along with the scammer.
⚠️ How to spot a cash flipping scam on Cash App:
- Someone reaches out to you over social media with a get-rich-quick scheme or a “guaranteed” investment opportunity. No one can guarantee returns on an investment.
- The offer seems too good to be true. Conduct an online search before contacting social media accounts that promote investment schemes. You’ll quickly find threads from victims who have posted complaints and details about the scam.
- The message comes from a “friend” but uses language or phrases your friend wouldn’t use. Be aware that cybercriminals may hack your friends’ accounts to earn your trust.
The best way to avoid cash flipping scams:
Treat your money on Cash App like real cash. If you wouldn’t give a random person on the street your money to flip, don’t do it online.
📚 Related: What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed Online & How To Report It →
3. Fake Cash App customer support websites and social media accounts
Tech support scams are among the most common tactics that fraudsters use to scam Cash App users.
In this scheme, criminals pretend to be Cash App customer service representatives and reach out to you about your account balance or “security issues.”
They’ll often contact you on social media after you post about an issue with Cash App. In other cases, they might call, send text messages, email you, or set up fake websites displaying phone numbers to call for support.
In one example, Wade Hankins — a landlord in Raleigh who used Cash App to collect rent payments — lost $24,000 after scammers called him and offered to “help” him move the funds to his bank account [*].
⚠️ How to spot a fake Cash App customer support scam:
- Someone reaches out to you (unsolicited) to offer help with your Cash App account — either via a social media direct message (DM), email, phone call, or text.
- The scammer requests your account login information or asks you to click on a link. Cash App will never ask for sensitive information, nor will they require you to download an application, send payment, or complete a transaction before getting support.
- You call or receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from Cash App. There is no phone support for Cash App. If you speak to someone who says they’re with the company, it’s a scam.
4. Cash App cryptocurrency and Bitcoin scams
In 2021 alone, scammers stole over $1 billion in cryptocurrency, using investment scams and other schemes [*].
Fraudsters post videos and messages on social media showing fake testimonials from people who supposedly earned huge returns from their crypto investments. If you respond, they’ll ask you to transfer money or Bitcoin via Cash App to “fund” your account.
This exact scam happened to Joseph Thompson. After watching a Facebook video posted by his son’s friend that touted huge returns on a Bitcoin investment, Thompson sent his own coins to a Cash App link. He also provided his driver’s license and Facebook password to “verify” his identity [*].
But scammers had hijacked his son’s friend’s account. Not only did he lose his “investment” — but the scammers also took over Thompson’s Facebook account and scammed his close friends and relatives out of thousands of dollars.
⚠️ How to avoid Bitcoin scams on Cash App:
- Be cautious of any cryptocurrency investment opportunity. No one can guarantee you a return. Do your own research before investing in anything.
- If a friend or family member posts online about an investment, double-check with them in person or on the phone. Scammers will often hijack accounts as they know their victims are likely to trust posts from people they know.
- Never share personal information, logins, or photos of your ID with anyone online.
📚 Related: How To Tell If Someone is Scamming You Online →
5. #CashAppFridays and #SuperCashAppFriday giveaway scams
The Cash App team does give away free money, Bitcoin, or stocks on “Cash App Fridays” via social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. All you have to do is reply with your Cash App “$cashtag” for a chance to win.
However, scammers use fake accounts to hijack the hashtag and then message people who reply in the original Cash App thread. They’ll claim that you “won” but need to DM them your financial information to collect your prize.
Beware of other sweepstakes and “free money” scams. Scammers may send a message saying you’ve won a prize or that you’re entitled to owed money. However, you need to send a small amount of money via Cash App to claim your win.
Cash App does not require users to send money for any reason, and it’s not possible to claim cash prizes on Cash App by sending money.
⚠️ How to avoid Cash App giveaway scams:
- Never pay or send financial information to “win” a prize. If someone claims they need your information, or you have to pay a fee to receive your prize, it’s a scam.
- Only respond to giveaways from official Cash App accounts. Cash App’s official handle is @CashApp on both Twitter and Instagram.
6. Fake Cash App payment notifications and emails
Cash app is meant to be used for transactions with people you know — like friends and family. But many users also send and receive payments for goods and services that they sell or buy online.
In the fake payment notification scam, fraudsters will reach out about an item you have for sale on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. They’ll ask to pay for it via Cash App, and then send you an email saying that there’s money in your account.
But when you check your Cash App account, there’s nothing there.
The whole thing is a fraud. But if you try to call out the scammer, they’ll claim you’re the one trying to scam them and then press you to “refund” them the money they sent.
⚠️ How to spot a fake Cash App payment notification scam:
- You receive a notification about a Cash App payment that comes from an unofficial domain. Remember, all Cash App messages will come from either a @Square.com, @Cash.app, or @Squareup.com email address.
- Someone claims to have sent you money via Cash App, but there’s nothing in your account. Cash App transfers are nearly instantaneous. If it’s not in your account, it was never sent.
📚 Related: How To Tell If an Email Is From a Scammer [With Examples] →
7. Random people “accidentally” sending you money on Cash App
In this scheme, scammers deposit money in your Cash App account “by accident” or as part of a plan to gain your trust during a social engineering scam.
Scammers might use the deposit as a way to lure you into conversation (which can lead to other scams). Or, they might claim it was a mistake and ask you to refund them the amount they sent. However, they most likely used stolen credit card numbers to fund their account.
If you send them a “refund” and the person whose credit card was stolen files a fraud claim, you’ll lose that money.
⚠️ How to spot an “accidental transfer” scam:
- A Cash App user sends you money out of the blue and asks for a refund. Your best bet is to ignore the sender. Contact Cash App and ask them to deal with the situation.
8. Fake security alerts claiming your Cash App account has been compromised
Scammers prey on fear to get you to give up your login information and passwords.
In this scam, fraudsters send you a fake security alert claiming your Cash App account was compromised in a data breach. They’ll include a link to a website that asks you to change your Cash App login credentials. But they’ll use any account information that you share with them to empty your account.
⚠️ How to spot a fake Cash App security alert:
- The email is sent from a domain or service other than an official Cash App domain.
- You can’t verify the breach or compromise. Don’t act or respond out of urgency or fear. Verify that your account has been breached by directly contacting Cash App support in the app.
📚 Related: How To Tell If You've Been Hacked (and What To Do About It) →
9. Scammers selling hard-to-find items (pets, concert tickets, etc.)
Fraudsters commonly sell expensive items online and ask for payment via Cash App. Scammers know that Cash App doesn’t offer buyer protection. So, if they can convince you to pay for fake items through the platform, you have no way to get your money back.
In many cases, these items will either be hard-to-find (like fake tickets to a sold-out concert) or a too-good-to-be-true deal (like discounted luxury items).
Some of the most common online shopping Cash App scams include:
Pet deposit scams on Cash App
Americans spent $123.6 billion on pets in 2021 [*]. Unfortunately, the BBB claims that it’s nearly impossible to search online for puppies or pets without encountering scammers [*].
The most common pet scam entails fraudsters requesting a deposit for a puppy or other pet via Cash App. They’ll then send fake photos of cute newborn pets to hook you into a sale. The pets are usually highly sought-after purebred animals available at low prices.
⚠️ How to spot a fake pet deposit scam:
- Make sure to visit breeders in person, and never send money for pets you can’t see first. If a breeder is anxious to collect a deposit — or creates a sense of urgency — it’s probably a scam.
Home rental scams on Cash App
Home rental scammers use sites like Zillow and Apartments.com to advertise fake rental properties. They offer apartments at prices lower than the market rate, and then ask for a deposit using Cash App (or similar) to “secure” the property.
These scams usually happen online only. But there have been situations in which scammers “show” a home in person and even collect deposits for homes that aren’t actually for rent.
⚠️ How to spot a fake home rental scam:
- Do your due diligence before sending anyone a deposit for a home or apartment. Make sure you view the property in person, and ask lots of questions about the owner or property management company.
- Never give out your SSN or banking information until you can verify that the property is legitimate.
📚 Related: The 7 Latest Geek Squad Scams (and How To Avoid Them) →
10. Coronavirus scams on Cash App
The COVID-19 pandemic has led many people to start using contactless payment solutions like Cash App. Unfortunately, since the start of the pandemic, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received over 750,000 complaints related to Coronavirus scams [*].
One of the more common scams involves fake grants and relief programs. Scammers will create fake websites, or send phishing emails that claim to offer support — but you have to pay a “fee” via Cash App in order to get the service.
⚠️ How to spot COVID-19 Cash App scams:
- Someone promises a new vaccine or COVID-19 cure for a fee. All COVID-19 vaccines are provided by the U.S. government for free. Don’t believe anyone claiming to offer a miracle cure or new vaccine.
- The scammer asks for your banking data or sensitive healthcare information (such as your Medicare number). Scammers can use this information to conduct medical identity theft and steal your benefits.
- You get a phone call that looks like it’s from a government organization. Scammers can spoof phone numbers to trick your caller ID. Always verify callers by hanging up and calling back using the organization’s official phone number.
📚 Related: The 17 Latest Covid Scams To Be Aware Of (2022) →
11. Scammers asking for your Social Security number (SSN)
Cash App scammers don’t just want your money — they want your sensitive information, too. With your Social Security number (SSN), a scammer can commit identity theft or even open new bank accounts or credit cards in your name.
In 2021 alone, Americans lost $12 million to SSN scams, according to the FTC [*].
One way scammers try to get your SSN is to call you and claim that your Social Security benefits are going to be canceled, or that your card needs to be updated. They’ll use threatening language to get you to “confirm” your SSN and then request payment via Cash App for the service.
⚠️ How to spot a SSN scam on Cash App:
- Someone asks for payment via Cash App (or gift cards, wire transfers, or crypto) in exchange for Social Security benefits and services. Government agencies will never demand payment via Cash App or through any money transfer service.
- You receive a phone call that looks like it comes from a government agency, requesting your SSN. If you receive an unsolicited call, hang up and call back using the agency’s official phone number (1-800-772-1213) or visit SSA.gov.
📚 Related: 12 Awful Senior Citizen Scams: How To Prevent Elder Fraud →
12. Receiving fake Cash App debit cards in the mail
Cash App users can get physical debit cards to access their funds. But scammers have also started to send unsolicited Cash App debit cards through the mail with instructions to download the app and scan a QR code to set it up.
In reality, scammers have used your stolen information (name, SSN, address, etc.) to open a Cash App account in your name. But they have the account login information. So, once you fund the account, they’ll just transfer the money to themselves.
How did criminals get access to your sensitive information, such as your SSN? In the past few years, hackers have stolen and released billions of pieces of personal information on the Dark Web through hacking and data breaches. A valid U.S. Social Security number costs as little as $5 on the Dark Web [*].
⚠️ How to spot a fake Cash App debit card:
- If you receive a Cash App debit card in the mail, don’t ignore it. This is a huge red flag that your information is available online, and you may be at risk of identity theft. Contact Cash App directly through the app, and then go through the steps of securing your identity after a data breach.
13. Scammers requesting gift cards in return for “free money” on Cash App
Scammers love gift cards because they’re impossible to trace. In this scam, you get a notification that you’ve won “free money” on Cash App — you just need to send the scammer a gift card in order to claim your money.
Scammers may also pretend to be from the IRS or FBI, and threaten you with jail time or fines if you don’t send them gift cards.
According to the FTC, gift cards are the number one payment method for scammers — leading to $148 million in losses for consumers [*].
⚠️ How to spot a gift card scam on Cash App:
- If anyone asks you to pay for a prize (or pay off fines) with a gift card (like Google Play cards), it’s a scam. Government agencies and legitimate businesses will never ask for payment via gift cards.
14. Romance scams on Cash App
Romance scams occur when fraudsters create fake accounts on dating sites and social media platforms and then build relationships with victims.
Once they’ve gained their victims’ trust, scammers will invent some type of emergency and ask for money via Cash App, wire transfer, or other methods that can’t be reversed. For example, they might claim to be in legal trouble or not have access to their bank account because they are overseas. But it’s all a lie, and any money you send them will be lost.
In 2021, over 24,000 Americans were tricked by romance scams, with scammers stealing over $1 billion [*].
⚠️ How to spot a Cash App romance scam:
- Romance scammers move fast. They try to quickly gain your trust, and will say they love you in a matter of days — then pressure you to say it back. But this is all part of the scam.
- They can never meet up in person or on video calls. Romance scammers will always have an excuse as to why the relationship can only take place online.
- They ask for money. Never send Cash App payments, gift cards, or any other form of payment to someone you’ve only met online.
📚 Related: The Unexpected Dangers of Online Dating [11 Scams To Know] →
How To Avoid and Prevent Cash App Scams
- Don’t disclose sensitive information. Keep your Cash App login and other personal information safe. Cash App employees will never ask for your PIN, password, authentication codes, or sensitive information such as your SSN and bank account information.
- Use two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. 2FA is an additional security measure that requires a special code along with your password. Enable 2FA on your Cash App account, but use an authenticator app (rather than SMS) for the code.
- Set up “security lock” and payment notifications. Cash App’s “Security Lock” requires you to enter your passcode for every payment. You can also set up payment notifications via text message or email so that you’re notified whenever you make a payment.
- Secure your mobile devices against scammers. Use unique, secure passcodes and biometric security (such as fingerprint ID) on all your mobile devices. For example, the password for your phone should not be the same as the password for your computer or iPad.
- Log out of Cash App when you’re not using it. Don’t keep your account logged in, as that provides easy access to your account for anyone who uses your device.
- Only trust emails from official Cash App domains. Cash App emails will come from @squareup.com, @square.com, or @cash.app.
- Beware of links and attachments in emails or messages. This is one of the most common ways that hackers infect your device with malware. For the best security, keep your device OS and apps updated, and install antivirus software on all your devices.
- Don’t keep large sums of money in your account. Your Cash App balance isn’t federally insured. Only keep small amounts of money in your account at all times.
- Avoid sending money to people you don’t know. If you have to engage in a transaction with someone who isn’t a friend or family member, make sure you verify account details before making your transfer.
- Only contact customer support by using the actual app. Don’t call phone numbers you find via Google searches. If anyone contacts you claiming to be from Cash App, hang up (or ignore the message) and contact the company directly through the app.
- If an offer seems “too good to be true,” it probably is. Always follow the golden rule of fraud prevention.
How To Get Your Money Back If You Were Scammed on Cash App
If you’ve been scammed on Cash App or if you sent money to the wrong person, here’s how to try and get your money back:
- Request a refund from the recipient. If you sent money to the wrong person or want to request a refund, open Cash App and select the “Activity” tab. Then, find the payment and select “...” in the top right corner. Select “Refund” and then “OK.” This sends a refund request, but the recipient will still have to accept it for you to receive the refund.
- Try to cancel the payment. If you catch the scam quickly enough, you can try to cancel the transfer. Again, go to your “Activity” tab and look for the payment. If you see the option to “Cancel,” select it.
- Dispute the transaction. If you still can’t get a refund, dispute the transaction. Go to your “Activity” tab, find the payment and select “...” Then click “Need Help & Cash Support.” Next, choose “Dispute this transaction.” The Cash App team will then investigate the dispute and inform you of their decision.
- Report the transaction as a scam. You can also report a potential scam payment by tapping your profile icon and selecting “Support” and then “Report a Payment Issue.” Select the scam payment in question and follow the prompts.
- Report and block the Cash App scammer. Finally, you can also block the scam account by going to the scammer’s profile, scrolling to the bottom, and tapping “Report” or “Block.”
- File a complaint with the FTC. Report the scam to official government authorities by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP or by visiting ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
FAQ: Everything Else You Need To Know About Cash App Scams
What types of Cash App transactions can be disputed?
You can dispute a Cash App transaction when:
- The outcome was not what you expected, such as with duplicate transactions or if you were charged the wrong amount.
- Fraudulent transactions occur when your Cash App Card is stolen or lost. You can also dispute fraudulent transactions when your account is compromised or when you didn’t participate in the transaction.
Will Cash App refund money from a scam?
Cash App will cancel a potentially fraudulent transaction to prevent charges on your account. Your funds are instantly returned to your linked bank account or Cash App balance and should be available within one to three business days.
However, if you’ve been scammed, there are no guarantees for a refund. Because Cash App is a peer-to-peer transfer platform, your best option for a refund is to contact the receiving party or cancel the payment before it’s finalized.
Meanwhile, you can file a dispute for the transaction with your bank if you’ve linked your Cash App account to a debit card or credit card.
How do you know if someone is scamming you via Cash App?
- They reach out to you on social media claiming to be customer service representatives from Cash App.
- They ask for your sign-in PIN or other sensitive information.
- They request personal information or ask you to send money for a service.
Legitimate cash app representatives will never ask for your details via social media, phone, or any other channels.
Can Someone Hack Your Cash App Account with Your Name or Cash App Tag?
No. Cash App scammers need more than your name or Cash App “$Cashtag” to hack your account.
They’ll also need access to your Cash App PIN, phone number, and email address. However, cybercriminals can hack your email address using phishing attacks and then use it to gain access to your Cash App account.
The Bottom Line: Protect Your Money From Cash App Scammers
Scammers love new technologies and services because they can easily take advantage of inaccurate user assumptions and confusion. But Cash App is an efficient and safe tool to use — if you’re smart.
Keep an eye out for these common Cash App scams. And for added protection of your accounts, money, data, and devices, consider signing up for Aura’s all-in-one digital security solution.
Aura keeps you and your family safe online. And if the worst should happen, you’re covered by a $1,000,000 insurance policy for eligible losses due to identity theft.