Venmo Account Got Hacked? Here Are the Steps To Take
Venmo is a popular, easy to use mobile payment app. But things can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re suddenly locked out of your account.
Unfortunately, just like any other account, your Venmo can fall victim to hacking. With your hard-earned money on the line, you need to act quickly the moment you notice signs of suspicious activity. Here’s what you should do if your Venmo account gets hacked and how you can prevent the situation in the future.
Look Out for Warning Signs
Depleted funds are a sure sign that you’ve been hacked, but there are also other indicators to look out for. Here’s what you should keep an eye on:
Emails and Notifications
Don’t just swipe notifications before reading them. They could indicate that someone is trying to access your account. If Venmo says there was a login attempt from a device or location that doesn’t match yours, you should be alarmed. If the notification says there was a successful password change, the hacker has already taken over your account.
Keep an eye on your emails and read each one you receive from Venmo. By opening each email, you’ll also know right away if someone has changed your account details. However, be extra vigilant to make sure the emails themselves aren’t fake. Double-check before clicking any links.
If you have two-factor authentication enabled on Venmo, you’ll receive a code before you can complete a transaction. Luckily, this will protect you in case the hacker tries to access your money. If you didn’t initiate a transaction but you start receiving texts with such codes, don’t just brush it off as a mistake. It might be a hacking attempt.
When you use Venmo all the time, it’s easy to overlook one or two weird entries in your activity. For that reason, it’s important to check your Venmo history regularly and scrutinize it for anything suspicious. Transactions that you never authorized are a good sign that someone has accessed your account.
Stay in Control of Your Account
If you suspect that someone is trying to hack you, you should immediately check if you’re still in control of your Venmo account. Try to log in and do the following:
Change Your Password
After a failed hacking attempt, log in to make sure everything is in order and change your password. If you can’t log in to your account, the hacker has already changed your password. You can still reset your password as long as your email address is unchanged.
To change your password while logged in, follow these steps:
- Open the Venmo website or your iOS or Android app and log in.
- Go to your Settings.
- In the “Profile” tab, find the Password section.
You will need to input your current password before you can create a new one.
If you can’t access your account anymore, reset your password in the following way:
- Open Venmo and press “Sign in.”
- Click or tap “Forgot password?” on the next screen.
You will need to enter your email address or phone number to reset your password.
Change Your Email
The hacker is probably using your email address to access your account. Hence, you may continue receiving notifications about failed logins even after resetting your password. Try switching to a new email address to prevent further breach attempts.
You can change your email address on Venmo just like your password:
- Open the Venmo website or mobile app for iOS or Android and sign in.
- Find “Settings” and open the “Profile” section.
- Modify your email address.
You will need to verify your new email address before you can add it to your Venmo.
Remove Your Assets
If someone has logged in to your account or you identified unauthorized activity in your history, you need to prevent any further damage. Remove any credit or debit card and bank account from your Venmo account. The process is the same on desktop and mobile.
- Open Venmo and sign in.
- Go to your Settings and find “Payment Methods.”
- Tap/click the card or bank account you want to remove.
- Hit “Remove” and confirm your choice.
Your assets in your bank accounts will be safe, but your Venmo balance will still be at risk at this point.
Call Your Bank
If you woke up to your Venmo account having been completely hacked, you should waste no time. Without access to your account, you won’t be able to remove your payment methods and the hacker will be able to take your money.
Contact your bank immediately to freeze any cards or bank accounts that are associated with your Venmo. If the hacker has already taken money, let your bank know of the unauthorized transactions and reverse them, if possible. You may need to close the bank account and cancel the cards that were affected depending on how the situation is resolved. Seek out your bank’s advice on what to do next.
If you fall victim to hacking on Venmo, contact support as soon as possible. You can do this in several ways:
- Fill in their online contact form
- Seek out chat support in the mobile app
- Call them at (855) 812-4430
As soon as you get through, Venmo will freeze your account. This will prevent any unauthorized transactions until the issue is resolved and you are in full control of your account again.
Since Venmo support may not react promptly to your request, you should still prioritize removing your payment methods and freezing your accounts at your bank.
How to Stay Safe on Venmo
Venmo is easy to use, but never let your guard down. Follow these tips to make sure your account and money are safe and secure.
Never Share Your Info
Sharing your login information is never safe, no matter who you share it with. Don’t let someone else’s mistake cost you dear. In addition, remember that Venmo will never ask you to share your password, whether through email or a phone call. Such requests are fake.
Create a Strong Password
Even if you haven’t had problems with hackers, ensuring that no one will ever guess your password is paramount. A strong password is much harder to crack, so use a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Your Venmo password can be up to 20 characters long.
Don’t Stay Logged In
It’s convenient to have access to Venmo with a single tap, but that’s exactly why you shouldn’t stay logged in to your account. Log out when you’re not using Venmo so your account stays safe even if you lose your phone. This will protect you when someone you don’t know or trust handles your phone, too.
Stay Away From Public Wi-Fi
Logging in through unsecured networks can be risky since public Wi-Fi provides the perfect opportunity for hackers looking to steal your info. You should only use Venmo when you’re connected to a protected network.
Add a Layer of Extra Security
Venmo offers many security features, from two-factor authentication to fingerprint and pin code requirements, and you should take full advantage of them. This way, you’ll ensure that you’re the only one who can make a payment from your account if your login info ever gets stolen.
Block Suspicious Users
If a stranger requests a payment from you, don’t just ignore it. Stay safe from suspicious users by blocking them right away. You can block a user on Venmo directly from their profile. The user will no longer be able to interact with you in any way.
Use Purchase Protection
Business transactions are also possible with Venmo – and some scammers take full advantage of this. Whenever you use Venmo for buying something, it’s recommended that you use Purchase Protection. This will cost the seller a small fee: 1.9% of the amount in addition to $0.10 per transaction. However, it will cover you in case there’s a problem with the exchange.
Watch Out for Scams
Finally, stay vigilant in your interactions. Venmo scams come in many forms and even the best of us can fall for them sometimes. If an acquaintance suddenly asks you for money, double-check that it’s definitely them. Their social media account could have been hacked and it may be the hacker you’re talking to. Fake phone calls asking you to change your password or verify your account are all scams, too.
Keep Your Venmo Account Safe and Secure
Unfortunately, Venmo hacking scams are all too common. You should do everything to keep your account as safe as possible by following the above tips. If the worst-case scenario occurs, don’t wait around until Support responds but act immediately. Contact your bank and make sure the hacker doesn’t have access to your funds.
Do you have any other Venmo safety tips? How do you keep your account protected from scammers and hackers? Let us know in the comments section below.