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This section is about payment apps (aka pay apps) Zelle, Venmo, Cash App and PayPal. Not here (yet) are Apple Pay and Google Pay.

If you paid a scammer with a cash app, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

The article How Private Is My Pay App? from The Markup (Nov 2020) discusses the data these apps share. The apps that most protect your privacy are Google Pay, AppleCash and Zelle.

On the This Week in Tech podcast (November 20, 2022 episode) I heard good things about Wise for transferring money between countries. I have no experience with it.

The Best mobile payment apps in 2023 by David Strom for CNN. Last updated Jan. 5, 2023. The tested apps were: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Venmo and Cash App. Zelle was not tested. The two clear winners were Apple Pay and Google Pay.


UPDATE December 24, 2022: At the last minute, these reporting requirements were relaxed. But, next year...
People using mobile payment apps like Venmo, PayPal and Cash App are required, starting with income earned in 2022, to report commercial transactions totaling more than $600 per year to the IRS. Cash apps in the US must report payments to the IRS of more than $600 a year received for goods and services. Under the old rule, these cash services only provided their users a 1099-K form if they received more than $20,000 and had more than 200 transactions. Money received from friends and relatives as personal gifts or reimbursements for expenses is not taxable. If, however, there’s a mistake and personal payments get misclassified, the IRS says to sort it out with the app company.


Did someone 'accidentally' send you money on Venmo? You might be getting scammed by Jessica Roy for the Los Angeles Times (September 2022). A reporter writes, at length, about her identity having been stolen. In her case the scam message was:

  Anna sent you $500.00 - Antique table - You now have $500.00 in your Venmo account

The article says that the best thing to do in these cases is nothing.

How the scam works: Bad guys steal/buy credit card numbers and attach them to accounts on cash apps like Venmo, Cashapp and Zelle. Using the stolen credit cards, the bad guys send money to hundreds or thousands of people at once. Then the bad guys request the money back. The initial victims, whose credit card numbers were stolen, will see the charges, get in touch with their banks, and likely have the transaction reversed. But any cash app user who sent the bad guys money gets screwed. Venmo declined to make anyone available for an interview for the story.







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