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Police warn of scam targeting Venmo users through text messages

Police in Massachusetts want everyone who uses the Venmo app to be aware of a scam going around.

A Massachusetts police department's warning about a Venmo scam is gaining attention across the country. 

The Dighton Police Department posted an alert on Facebook Sunday afternoon that described how scammers are texting some users and telling them their Venmo account "is about to be charged and if you want to cancel the withdrawal, you need to log on and decline it." 

According to police, the text message includes a link to a fake site meant to look like Venmo, but isn't. When users go to the fraudulent website, they're then asked to verify who they are by entering banking or financial info. 

"Do not use the pages provided by the text to enter into your account. Go to your venmo app or use the internet site," Dighton Police Department's warning stated. 

As of Monday afternoon, the department's warning had been shared more than 14,000 times on Facebook. 

A Venmo spokesperson confirmed what the police department described in its post is a common phishing scam and one that the company is taking necessary steps to protect its customers from. 

The company said it also never sends users emails requesting payment info of this nature. 

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Any Venmo users who think they may have been the target of spam or a potential scam can e-mail spoof@paypal.com, and the company said it will review the info and take action if needed.  

In a statement, Venmo said the security of its customer's account info is always a top priority. 

"When we become aware of phishing scams, we proactively work with law enforcement agencies, industry partners and use our own systems to detect fraud and mitigate the issue," the statement said. "We encourage customers to always be vigilant of who the text, social media messaging or email is from to protect themselves when clicking links or opening attachments.

Customers who think they have an unauthorized or unsatisfactory transaction can submit a customer service request in their PayPal account or directly through Venmo, the company said. 

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