CASH APPS | Victims of Venmo and Zelle scams in Kentuckiana learn expensive lessons | WDRB Investigates

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Millions of people use apps on their phones to send and receive money, but they may not be as safe as some believe.

WDRB Investigates uncovered how people across Kentucky and Indiana are being scammed out of cash, and why it’s not so easy to get it back.

Carrying cash isn’t as common these days. Now, nearly everything is on an app, such as Venmo, Paypal, Zelle and Cash App.

“They’re very common, and they’re very useful,” said Whitney Adkins, with the Better Business Bureau. “I use them myself. They can be very handy.”

But they can also be handy for scammers. Just ask Debbie Key, who was scammed on Venmo.

“I was sent $400 via Venmo. It was sent as accident,” Key said. “I was messaged … ‘It was an accident, send me the money back.’ Within 8 minutes, I returned the funds.”

Key said she didn’t think it was a big deal. But two weeks later, she noticed something was wrong on Venmo.

“They’re holding me accountable for $400,” she said.

This scam involved someone she knows, an estranged family member. She said because she knows the person, her guard was down.

“Absolutely. If you want to be honest, I’m so daggone upset and mad about it. I’m not upset about the money. It’s about somebody would do that to you,” she said.

Ever since, Key has been fighting to get her money back from Venmo.

“I spent at least three days going with this…

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