Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is urging Floridians to be wary of a new scam that is stealing people’s money through Venmo-like text messages.
According to a statement, people have been receiving text messages that claim to be from the popular money transmitting app, Venmo. The text shows a notification of a pending charge, and provides a link that directs the user to his or her “personal Venmo account” to decline the charges.
Once logged in, the user is instructed to verify their identity by entering their bank card number and other personal and financial information.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said: “While apps like Venmo are an easy way to send and receive money, scam artists are always on the hunt for new and creative ways to rob you of your financial information.”
“Never provide your personal information through web links that you’re unfamiliar with and visit FraudFreeFlorida.com to report potential fraud if you believe you have become a victim of this or any other scam.”
Tips to avoid this scam:
1. Double check all links. If you receive a suspicious text message never click on the link. Verify the request is legitimate by calling the mobile apps' customer service helpline directly to confirm authenticity.
2. Never send money to strangers. If you receive a request for money from someone you are unfamiliar with do not send them money and report suspicious activity immediately.
3. Set up app notifications. Check your app settings for features that send notifications when you send and receive money. Push notifications can be sent directly to your phone and email to keep you aware of any charges or requests for money.
4. Make your account private. Accounts are automatically set to public. Consider going into your settings and changing your account to private which creates another level of protection.