Venmo and other payment app theft is ‘skyrocketing,’ Manhattan DA warns
Venmo, Cash App, PayPal, Zelle and other payment apps may be convenient ways to send cash with a few taps of your smartphone, but they’re a breeding grounds for theft, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg tells CNN.
Culprits range from savvy swindlers, who trick their way into victims’ locked cell phones, to violent offenders who either drug their targets and then take advantage or bark out commands while threatening physical harm, Bragg said in an interview.
The issue has gotten so out of hand in New York that Bragg has sent a letter to the popular apps demanding that they put in more security measures, including lower transfer limits, additional password security, additional wait times for large transactions and increased monitoring for unusual activity.
In the letter, Bragg cited a 2022 letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office that was sent to the banking industry where they said fraud claims had tripled between 2020 and 2022, costing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. The investigation centered around Zelle and indicated not only was fraud rampant, but was getting worse. And banks have often been unwilling to make customers whole, even if they were victims of fraud.