CBS Detroit – Square is a company many of us know as a point of sale service system at many small businesses and retailers. Enabling businesses to do transactions even with their smartphones. Square’s Cash App is a popular service for private people to send funds to each other, but scammers have found a way to get other’s hard-earned cash.

In an article from the Detroit Free Press, Lisa Williams was using the Cash App to accept donations to feed impoverished families on the east side of Detroit. Early on things were going great and she received $335 in donations. However one day she was having a technical issue and couldn’t access the money in her account. So she googled to see Cash App’s customer service line. She found a number, but the problem is Cash App does not offer phone support. Instead, the phone scammers who pretended to be very professional and courteous representatives convinced her to transfer the money in her account into a “temporary” account while the issue could be resolved, and just like that her money was gone. Williams told the Detroit Free Press, “I’m not very tech-savvy”.

Cash App is one of the nation’s fastest-growing digital wallets with over 24 million users each month at the end of 2019. Even Cash app’s own website advertises it as offering full-featured banking services. They allow customers to direct deposit paychecks, unemployment checks, and other benefit payments, make bill payments, payments to people and businesses, users can put money on a cash card to use as a debit card, and offers stock trading, and conversions to Bitcoin.

Credit: Shutterstock.com | Piotr Swat – Square’s Cash App is one of the leading digital wallets offering many services that conventional banks do. On Apple’s App Store it is the number one trending banking app, followed by PayPal, Venmo, Robinhood, and Zelle.

Consumer advocates say when it comes to dealing with scammers there are some things you can do. First off do not use smart home devices like Alexa, Siri, or Google to find numbers to companies and have it dial it for you. Don’t use search engines as well. The information on the search engines can be incorrect or lead you to people who have other intentions. The best practice experts say is to go to the company’s official website and look for their support section.

If someone emails you out of the blue claiming to be from a company, be very cautious. On some smartphones or email services, you can click on the sender’s email address to see the actual email address. A legitimate correspondence will have the company’s domain name and a proper user name. Lots of times scammers will have long emails that look to be jibberish and have country domains in strange places. When receiving emails, do not click on any links, they may install malware or phishing apps on your computer or phone aimed at getting your passwords and private information. In these emails, you can sometimes tell them apart from official correspondence by bad grammar, improper logos, or wrong formatting. They may be worded to draw a mass audience, so you probably will not see your name or vague wording. If an email is asking you to reply or call a phone number, do not call the phone number listed or hit reply to the email. Instead, go to the company’s official website and contact them directly.

Katie Dally is Cash App’s spokesperson, she told the Free press in an email, “As a reminder, the Cash App team will never ask customers to send them money, nor will they solicit a customer’s PIN or sign-in code outside of the app.” She added, “If you believe you have fallen victim to a scam, you should contact Cash App support through the app or website immediately.”

The Free Press says when you search online or through the Cash App website you might find a support number of 855-351-2274. That number is legitimate, but it directs people having issues to contact a Cash App team member through the app or you can visit Cash.App/help.

Melanie Duquesnel who is the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau for Eastern Michigan says in Williams’ situation the scammer pretended to be a representative of Cash App illegally.  Many times businesses cannot stop individuals who use their brands with ill intent until it is too late. So if you own a business it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your company’s online presence.


© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Information from the Detroit Free Press contributed to this report.

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