HOUSTON — Four days before Christmas, Emanuelee Bean noticed a strange request for money on his Cash App account.
“I got a phone call, and it was someone from Cash App saying, 'Hey, there’s some weird things happening right now,'” Bean said.
He answered their questions. Bean said they even sent him a verification code from a number he recognized. Then, the caller asked him for his PIN, and he gave it to them, believing it was Cash App.
“About an hour later, 16 to 17 transactions were going out of my account," he said.
Those transactions totaled around $2,500.
“I started sending Cash App, through the Cash App (app), fraud reports. I sent so many, I can’t send any more," Bean said.
Not only did he call Cash App, but he also contacted his bank, the Houston Police Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau.
“We have seen an increase in online scams in general since the pandemic has started because so many more people are online nowadays, that’s where the scammers are going," said Leah Napoliello, with BBB of Greater Houston.
The BBB says apps will never call you and ask for personal information like PIN numbers. Getting your money back is not easy.
“We do recommend people instead link these types of accounts to their credit card account because sometimes there are more protections in place that way," she said.
We went to Cash App’s website and contacted them to see what could be done. After we finished our interview, Bean said he was issued a full refund.
“They said, we’re going to give you our money back, this is how you can secure it, the whole thing," he said.
His advice to other consumers is don't give up.
“Let them know you are serious about it and, yeah, being vigilant," Bean said.
A Cash App spokesperson told KHOU 11 News, "Preventing fraud is critically important to Cash App. We continue to invest in and bolster fraud-fighting resources by both increasing staffing and adopting new technology. We are constantly improving systems and controls to help prevent, detect, and report bad activity on the platform."