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**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Venmo Scam

9/18/2019

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com
 
**Consumer Alert**
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Venmo Scam

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning Floridians of a new scam aimed to steal your money. Beware of suspicious text messages claiming to be from the popular money transmitting app Venmo as scam artist have come up with a new way to steal your personal and financial information.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “While apps like Venmo are an easy way to send and receive money, scam artist are always on the hunt for new and creative ways to rob you of your financial information. Never provide your personal information through web links that you're unfamiliar with and visit FraudFreeFlorida.com to report potential fraud if you believe you have become a victim of this or any other scam.”
 
The way the scam works is Venmo users receive a text message notifying them of a pending charge. Within the text the scam artist provides a link that is said to direct the user to their personal Venmo account to decline the charges. Once logged in, the account holder is instructed to verify who they are by entering their bankcard number and other personal and financial information.
 
Tips to avoid this scam:
 
1. Double check all links. If you receive a suspicious text message never click on the link. Verify the request is legitimate by calling the mobile apps' customer service helpline directly to confirm authenticity.
2. Never send money to strangers. If you receive a request for money from someone you are unfamiliar with do not send them money and report suspicious activity immediately.
3. Set up app notifications. Check your app settings for features that send notifications when you send and receive money. Push notifications can be sent directly to your phone and email to keep you aware of any charges or requests for money.
4. Make your account private. Accounts are automatically set to public. Consider going into your settings and changing your account to private which creates another level of protection.
 
Visit FraudFreeFlorida.com to report fraud and learn ways to protect yourself from scams. If you have any questions or concerns about Venmo security, send an email to support@venmo.com
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).