A fool and his money are soon parted. I’ve been burned twice now by Venmo. I definitely am at fault in both cases but it still irks me how easy it was for me to be out of pocket. The first time, I was swindled by a hacker of some sort. It happened one day over the summer when I noticed that I received about five emails from Venmo that someone tried and failed to login to my account. It did concern me but I was busy at work and didn’t have time to think too much about it. A little later that day, I got a call from a strange number on my phone and when I picked up, they said it was Venmo. I would not normally answer the phone for a number I did not recognize but my kids were in summer day camp that week and I wanted to be sure it was not one of the counselors calling from their cell phone. The person on the line was a man with a foreign accent. He explained that Venmo noticed some unusual activity in my account and asked me to confirm some info on my account. He listed some recent transactions, which I confirmed, and as soon as I did that I felt something was wrong. I hung up the line immediately. Sure enough, I instantly had two transactions, one for $80 and one for $44, show up and deduct from my account. The caller tried to call me back 10 times over the next 3 minutes until I blocked the caller and the screen name on Venmo. Boy did I feel dumb! These hackers are so realistic! I’ve been feeling so stupid about that situation and then today I did something even more dumb!! I was at our annual neighborhood festival in the park and was asked to donate to the local women’s at the Catholic Church for a chance to win a $1,000 raffle. I decided to buy 3 tickets for $10. I was out of cash because my kids had used it all for games and candy so I Venmoed the woman using the account she listed. Or at least I thought I did until she told me that she did not receive the alert. When I looked more closely, I realized that I forgot to add a number to the account and paid the wrong person. I was already feeling frazzled from chasing three kids around the park and so I made a mistake. My husband suggested I request the $10 back in the app from the stranger. I thought that was a great idea! Until I accidentally paid her $10 again instead of requesting the $10. I tried to explain the situation in the little message box, but I feel like I sounded like an internet stalker/hacker than a tired mom. This time, I wrote the note and tried to send a request for $20 to get all my money back and somehow I paid her AGAIN instead of requesting the money. How foolish can you get? I clearly was not paying attention to what I was doing. In the end, I sent a final request to the stranger for the $40 I erroneously sent with a sad emoji. It has been a few hours and I have not received any notifications in the app and don’t feel optimistic I will ever see that money again. I probably wouldn’t send it back either because I would think it was a hoax. I didn’t win the raffle either. Let this be a lesson to others to pay attention to what you are doing when you are using Venmo. Otherwise you can be out real money like what just happened to me!!
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