BBB: New Warning About Using A Payment App For Online Purchases

Jan 7, 2021

BBB issues new warning
Credit BBB

The Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan once again has a warning for residents.  This time it involves the popular payment app- VENMO.  Nothing wrong with the app-- it’s more about what you use the app for.

“We’re seeing more complaints of people who are buying online and using Venmo or similar apps to pay for these items and then not getting what they buy and getting ripped off.”

Troy Baker is with the Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan.  He says they’ve seen an uptick in complaints and situations from consumers in West Michigan.  He says the majority of the complaints are about the use of the digital wallet app, Venmo.

“And what people don’t realize is that Venmo and some of these other apps are not meant to be used to buy things from people you don’t know. And they don’t have the protections that you expect. So, if that transaction goes bad, you might be out your money.”

Baker says many of the transactions occur on Facebook Marketplace among other sites.  Some merchants ask they be paid by Venmo, which Baker says is a bad idea.

“What people are finding is that they think it is a safe transaction. And when the product doesn’t appear, they can’t get it ahold of people they bought it from.”

So, what to do? Baker advises that consumers proceed with caution.

“Use a credit card, if you’re going to use a payment app, make sure you know what terms and conditions are, so that if something goes wrong, you’ve got a way to fix it.”

Baker adds if you do have a problem, you can always get help from the BBB, just go to Scamtracker.org.