If you have something to sell, and a buyer asks to pay using Venmo, you could lose both your money and your item. Jennifer Khordi is one of many who got scammed and wants to help others avoid her fate.
Venmo is designed as a way to make payments to friends, not for buying and selling to strangers, and as such has "no channels available for Venmo to reimburse loss incurred due to violations of our User Agreement and participation – intentional or otherwise – in fraudulent activitites."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, another scammer using Venmo to rip people off appears to have been caught following a 2017 investigation by The Verge.
In November, The Verge traced more than $125,000 in scams perpetrated under the name Andy Mai, exploiting a poorly understood feature of Venmo's payment system. Arranging to buy iPhones, cameras, and other big-ticket items on Venmo, the scammer would pay with fraudulent funds that disappeared from seller's accounts after 24 hours. When Venmo reversed the charges, sellers were left with no money and no goods, often out tens of thousands of dollars. Venmo advises users never to purchase goods from strangers using Venmo, but few are aware of the restriction, which proved crucial to the scammer's success. In recent weeks, a number of the victims have received official notifications of court proceedings.
It would be great if Venmo made it crystal clear as part of their UI during each payment, but until then, it's always worth repeating: don't use Venmo for transactions with strangers.