How to Protect Your Bank Account From This Smartphone Scam
Today's technology is a wonderfully convenient commodity for those who use it - and for the predators who lie in wait to take advantage of it.
If you have the Venmo app on your phone you could be a victim of this innocent looking scam.
For those that don't know, Venmo is an app linked to the bank account that allows you to make and share payments with family and friends as well as make online purchases. Anyone who does an extensive amount of online shopping certainly appreciates its convenience.
However, you should be aware of predators who seek to drain your bank account.
Warnings have gone out in cities across the country, including Denver, about people who have had money stolen from their Venmo accounts during an unsuspecting encounter.
In the scam, an individual will ask to use your smartphone for a special circumstance - maybe he needs to go pick up his little girl and he doesn't have his phone. With your phone in hand, the perpetrator then proceeds to open the Venmo app and in a matter of seconds transfers funds from the account. It happens so quickly, victims don't even realize they have been robbed.
The fix is extremely easy, and it will only cost you a small amount of convenience. All you have to do is password protect your account and require the password to be entered prior to any transaction.
To password protect your Venmo account, simply open your Venmo app and click on the icon in the top left corner. After you click on "settings, scroll down and turn on "Touch ID and PIN." Then you just type in a four-digit PIN and that's the number that will be required for each transaction.
It's always good to have these passwords connected to your bank account in place, in the event your phone is ever lost or stolen. It's just not quite as convenient as being able to make a payment without that one extra step of entering another password you have to try and remember.
Beyond that, a simple way to avoid being scammed in this way is to never loan your phone to a stranger for any reason. If you are ever asked for your phone, you can always simply offer to make the call for the person. If it's legitimate, they will let you do it.