(WSVN) - Complaints are pouring in from across the country about a popular money sharing app. The app reportedly has 30 million users, but little help for those who lose money to scammers. 7’s Karen Hensel shows us why so many feel cash zapped.
Kyle Hite, Cash App user: “I was scammed out of $4,700.”
Thousands of dollars lost…
Tamika Lea, Cash App user: “Two thousand, one-hundred seventeen dollars is what I was scammed out of.”
Scammed out of cash on Cash App.
The popular tool lets people easily transfer money to one another on smartphones, but it has also been abused by scammers who have tricked countless users into giving them access to their accounts and money.
Calls from people across the country have flooded our 7 Investigates tip line.
Kyle Hite (voicemail): “I had a very unfortunate mishap with Cash App.”
From Kyle in California…
Kyle Hite: “They used some software through an app to log into my phone.”
…to Tamika in Louisiana…
Tamika Lea: “My money was gone within three minutes. I sent Cash App 20 emails and have not heard anything back.”
…to Anika Sands here in South Florida.
Anika Sandsr: “It was devastating. I was very upset.”
Anika says she lost nearly $10,000 after Googling Cash App support.
She called an 800 number for help and thought she was talking to someone from the app but wasn’t.
Instead, the person on the other end was a scammer who drained her account.
Anika Sands: “They literally took the phone call, and they walked my son through it, and then, they actually had my son open his phone to remote control it. At the same time, all the while, he was taking everything out of the account.”
But getting a representative with the real Cash App?
Anika Sands: “Very frustrated with Cash App because it’s like there’s nobody you can talk to.”
And she’s right. The multi-billion dollar company with millions of users does have one legitimate phone number, but you can’t speak to anyone. It’s just a recording.
Cash App recording: “Live phone support is not generally available at this time.”
And the recording makes clear Cash App knows there’s a problem.
Cash App recording: “Please be aware that Cash App employees are often impersonated by scammers circulating fake phone numbers online.”
7 Investigates first exposed the issue two years ago.
Holly Apetz, Cash App user, October 2018: “Within minutes, I hear my other phone ‘ding, ding,’ and he’s taking all my money — $96, $99, $199.”
We even listened as one scammer turned nasty.
Fake rep, September 2018: “You are a jobless [expletive].”
Woman: “Oh, no, we’re doing it for Channel 7 News, sweetheart.”
Fake rep: “Oh, shut up, you [expletive].”
But since then, complaints continue to mount.
The Florida Attorney General’s office tells 7News, “We do not have a consumer protection investigation against Cash App at this time, although we are reviewing complaints against the company.”
And 4,020 consumers, who reported losing nearly $3 million — filed Cash App complaints with the Federal Trade Commission.
Professor Paul Borochin, University of Miami: “The fact that they literally don’t have a customer service number is somewhat egregious.”
University of Miami Business School Professor Paul Borochin says banks and credit cards provide more protection.
Paul Borochin: “It’s really important for users of these apps to understand that there is no safety net. They come with great convenience for the customer, for the consumer but also with substantial downsides.”
Borochin says when it comes to money sharing apps, technology is outpacing regulation.
So who could regulate these apps?
Paul Borochin: “It may actually be some of the regulatory bodies that oversee banks.”
We asked the California-based Cash App why they don’t provide live customer support.
They simply sent us a transcript of their recorded message warning of the impostor phone numbers.
Tuesday, Cash App’s parent company told 7News they are looking into the cases of the three users featured in our report.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.