The 9 most prevalent Cash App scams to watch out for

Guy Bauman

June 03, 2024

  • # Payment Protection
  • # Phishing Protection
  • # Account Protection

Cash App — a peer-to-peer money transfer app — has become one of the most common ways to send funds to friends and family. But its growing popularity has made it an attractive target for scammers. 

Exploring the most common Cash App scams will give you the knowledge you need to keep your money safe. Here’s everything you need to avoid scams and protect your assets from hackers, phishers, and cyber criminals.

What is Cash App, and how does Cash App work?

Cash App is a digital wallet that facilitates quick and easy money transfers, similar to platforms like PayPal and Venmo. As long as the person you want to send money to also has Cash App, it only takes a few taps. You can enter the recipient's phone number, email address, or unique $Cashtag and send money right away.

When you sign up for Cash App, you have to create an account and link it to your bank or credit card. Then, when you send cash, it comes directly from your bank, and when you receive it, you can put it into your bank account or put it toward your Cash App balance. 

This app lets you buy stocks, earn rewards, and even invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. You can also request money instead of sending it, which is great when you’re splitting the bill or need to remind someone they owe you. All in all, it’s a convenient way to transfer funds — but with so many features, it’s extra vulnerable to scams.

Is Cash App safe?

Like banking apps and other digital payment methods, Cash App uses encryption and fraud detection to keep your data safe. While it isn’t perfect, it does have the basic measures you need for peace of mind. It just can’t prevent scams and hacks that happen when you give away your information or send money to a criminal accidentally. 

Here are some of Cash App’s key safety features:

  • Encryption and security: Cash App safeguards your data using advanced encryption and security protocols, which prevent bad actors from hacking into your accounts. This critical layer of protection helps keep your bank details and personal information private.

  • Account verification: Cash App has a mandatory verification process to make sure you are who you say you are, preventing fraudulent transactions. This step verifies your date of birth, social security number (SSN), and sometimes government ID.

  • Passcode protection: You can set a passcode for your Cash App account to prevent unauthorized access if your mobile device is lost or stolen. Only you will have the passcode, so if someone else has your phone, they can’t use your Cash App account.

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): This feature provides an extra layer of security during login by requiring a second form of verification along with your password, like a passcode or biometric authentication. 

  • Real-time alerts and fraud detection: Cash App provides real-time alerts for all account activities through email or text. That means you’ll know if there are any unauthorized transactions as they happen, and the app may temporarily lock your account and require verification if it detects suspicious behavior.

9 common Cash App scams to be aware of

Scammers constantly find new ways to exploit payment apps like Cash App. Here are a few examples of Cash App fraud and how to spot the signs of a scam:

1. The random deposit scam

Imagine waking up to an unexpected deposit in your Cash App account. While it may seem like a stroke of luck, it's often a precursor to a scam. Fraudsters might transfer money to your account, claim it was a mistake, and ask you to return the amount. But once you send the money back, the scammer disputes the initial transaction with their bank, and you won’t have the original payment anymore — meaning you paid the scammer with nothing in return.

2. The claim your prize scam

Beware of messages claiming you've won a cash prize and requesting a payment to claim it. Cash App doesn't require users to pay for contests or promotions, so any requests are likely scams. A real contest won’t ask for your money.

3. The government relief payment scam

Especially popular since the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers pretend to offer government grants or relief payments. The messages may look legitimate, but their goal is to phish for your private financial information.

4. The cash flippers scam

Scammers claiming to be "cash flippers" promise to multiply your money if you send them a small amount first. They often present this as a "money circle" or investment opportunity. But the reality is that once you send the initial sum, the scammer disappears with your cash, leaving you with no return on your supposed investment.

5. The fake refund scam

This scam happens when you post an item for sale on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Scammers posing as buyers may claim they've sent a payment via Cash App for an item, and when you don't receive the money, they insist on a refund for a never-mentioned purchase. This scam is designed to trick you into sending money under the pretense of a refund for a non-existent transaction.

6. The bad romance scam

Exercise caution if someone you've met on a dating app or social media starts asking for money through Cash App. Scammers often use the promise of romance to lure you into sending cash, exploiting your trust and emotional vulnerability.

7. The #CashAppFridays scam

#CashAppFridays is a legitimate Cash App giveaway, but fake accounts may use this hashtag to contact you, claiming you've won a prize that requires payment or login information to claim. Remember, real winners of #CashAppFridays will never have to pay or give out those details.

8. The phishing email scam

Phishing is a classic scam where fraudsters send emails that look like they’re from Cash App, tricking you into sending your login details or clicking links that steal your information. Verified emails from Cash App will only come from,, or domains, so if it doesn’t have that domain, don’t respond.

9. The fake security alert scam

These scammers email you with a fake security alter, claiming that something’s happened to your Cash App account. These emails often contain links to fake websites where you're prompted to change your login credentials — but this tactic is designed to steal your information and your money.

I got scammed on Cash App, what now?

If you unfortunately find yourself a victim of a Cash App scam, acting fast can help minimize the damage. Here are the steps you need to take to address the situation and safeguard your finances:

  1. Contact Cash App support immediately: As soon as you detect a scam, contact Cash App support directly through the app. Be sure to provide detailed information about what happened, including transaction dates and any communication you had with the scammer, so Cash App can best help solve the problem.

  2. Secure your account: Change your Cash App PIN immediately and check the security of your linked email and bank accounts. If someone got into your Cash App, there’s a chance they got into other accounts, too, so secure everything you can.

  3. Report to authorities: File a report with local law enforcement so the scammer can hopefully get caught. You should also inform the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) so they can track the scammer and work to prevent future problems.

  4. Alert your bank: Notify your linked bank about the scam. They can monitor your account for suspicious activity and implement additional protective measures so it doesn’t happen again.

  5. Monitor your accounts: Keep a close watch on your Cash App and any linked bank accounts for unusual activity. It’s also a good idea to use a credit monitoring service, which can catch dips in your credit that could indicate fraudulent activity.

How to avoid Cash App scams: 5 tips

The best way to avoid a Cash App scam is to put proactive measures in place and stay vigilant against suspicious behavior. Here are some effective strategies:

  1. Don’t send payments to people you don’t know: Be cautious about sending money to strangers. Scammers often create fake profiles or stories to trick you into sending them money, so if you’re unsure about a request, it's safer to decline.

  2. Review your account periodically: Regularly check your Cash App account for unauthorized transactions. The faster you catch a scam, the faster you can resolve it.

  3. Use a password manager: Strong, unique passwords are crucial for digital security, but they’re hard to remember. A comprehensive tool like IronVest can remember them for you and add biometric authentication to your login process so every account is as secure as possible.

  4. Verify requests for money: If you receive a random payment request from someone you know, verify it with them outside the app. Scammers often impersonate known contacts — everyone from close family members to stores like Walmart.

  5. Beware of too-good-to-be-true offers: If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. This includes promises of free money, high-return investments, or requests for help with money transfers.

Secure your transactions with IronVest's advanced protection

While apps like Cash App offer convenience, they also present opportunities for scammers. Staying alert and practicing safe money habits online are your best defense against these threats.

For stronger security, consider secure payment methods like IronVest's virtual cards. These cards mask your debit and credit card numbers so you never have to give your real payment information away. Explore IronVest today and you’ll never have to worry about scams again.

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