How Does Venmo Work?

Written by Mikki Krause
How Does Venmo Work?

Venmo is a digital wallet that is owned by PayPal. Venmo is a tool that makes it easier for people to transfer money. The app allows you to take your coworkers, friends, or family out and be able to split bills or ride fares.

Venmo does not require personal accounts to receive money. You can just download the app and make an account. The money will stay in the Venmo account, and you can send money to someone. If you would like to transfer money to an actual account outside of Venmo, then you will need to link up your bank account.

Venmo also has become a social network in regards to their news feed. When making a transaction to someone, you have to add a memo about the transfer; you can have your account be public or private, you can even restrict people.

Is Venmo Safe?

Anywhere that holds the money, you can expect criminals to try and get ahold of it. Venmo has a plethora of security tools to ensure safety to its users. People accessing the application can set up a two-layer authentication process for transfers. You can also create a PIN for the app.

It is always good to become educated on the behaviors of scam artists. Criminals will always look for a way into accounts, whether that is your typical savings at Wells Fargo or your account on Venmo. To be comforted in knowing there are security researchers for Venmo that often identify hiccups in the software.

Venmo Scams

As mentioned before, Venmo is supposed to make on the go transactions and is not meant to be your general-purpose platform. Essentially when transferring money, it is intended to go to people you know or verified merchants by Venmo.

  • Venmo is not your credit or debit card, be aware of making purchases. It is easy to fall into a scam when making a purchase. Say you wanted to sell something off Offer up and you accept the balance of the payment and ship the item. To your knowledge, you notice you lose money because the payment that was used was a hacked account or stolen credit card. Now you are out of money and your item.
  • When you type in your friend or family name, you may see multiple accounts. Some people create spoof accounts with similar photos of your friends or family, catfishing users. If you leave your privacy settings to the public, this is very easy to do.
  • Having privacy settings on your phone is important. If your phone were to get stolen and the criminal can just open it right up and access your Venmo account for a hefty transfer.

Limit Losses

If scamming were to happen, to help yourself make sure you do not leave a lot of money in the Venmo account. Venmo allows you to report a fraudulent charge within 60 days of the claim. In most cases, individuals do receive their money back. Unfortunately, if you were to send money to the wrong user name, you cannot cancel or reverse the payment. You can message that user, and if they are kind enough, they will just send it back. Or said before, just make a claim and explain what happened.

Protecting Yourself

Here is some advice when using this app to ensure you feel safer

  • Less is more, try to keep a regular balance in the account, so you are not susceptible to losing a lot of money IF hacked
  • Set a PIN for your login so there is no one else who can access your account
  • Use Venmo’s authorization option that will make you confirm who you are more than once
  • Check the account regularly
  • Pointing out transactions that seem off
  • Communicate with friends, family, coworkers before sending or receiving money
When using apps to send and receive money, it is always good to do your research. Sitting down with your financial advisor if you are sending large amounts of money. It may be that this app is not for you if that is the case. Your financial institution may off better protection of your money and accounts more so than Venmo.

The Step Forward

Using people-search tools like can help you track down the individual hiding behind a user name. Getting information like their email addresses or phone numbers that were used to contact you can help people-search tools garner information.

If you are successful in locating accurate information, it very important to hand that to law enforcement and allow them to take it from there. Understanding that you may not get your money back is necessary, but you will be making a difference and that there is one less scammer out there.

Don't forget to share this post

Subscribe to Our Blog

Subscribe now to stay up to date with the latest Glad I Know special offers, news, and helpful tips and hints on the best use of People Search.