‘I was devastated’: Mobile payment app scammers drain local consumers’ accounts

MELBOURNE, Fla. — Two local women claim they lost thousands of dollars when scammers hit their Cash App accounts.

They turned to Action 9′s consumer investigator Todd Ulrich for help.

Tisha Cordy worked 12-hour shifts six days a week as a traveling nursing assistant responding to the COVID-19 crisis in Texas. She opened a Cash App account to send money home to family members in Melbourne.

“I could just send it through the phone and I’m thinking it was safe,” Cordy said.

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Months after returning home to Central Florida, Cordy claims more than $7,000 ‘disappeared’ from her Cash App account in an hour.

At first, Cordy said she heard good news from a company spokesman. “He said, ‘By the time we’re done with this call, all your money will be put back.’” She said that never happened.

Earlier that same day, a relative received a call from what she thought was Cash App customer service asking about a transaction with Cordy.

Now Cordy is convinced that was a scammer getting access to her account.

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All of Cordy’s interactions with Cash App since her money was taken have been dead ends.

“Nobody’s telling me what they’re going to do about my money,” Cordy said.

Cordy is just one of a dozen consumers who’ve contacted Action 9 about Cash App.

“I was devastated. My heart just dropped because literally that’s all I had,” Kennethia Santiago said.

Santiago is a struggling, unemployed mother of four who used Cash App to move money between family members.

She claims someone hacked her account last month and swiped $790.

Santiago says she reached out to Cash App customer service right away, but the company denied her fraud claim.

“To me that’s a complete slap in the face,” Santiago said.

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Consumer experts say most Cash App scams start with fake customer service centers that pop up online. Customers are inadvertently calling scammers who are looking to steal account information.

Since the pandemic, complaints about hacked Cash App accounts have soared at the BBB. There have been nearly 3,000 in the last year, with many saying their complaints were not resolved.

“After an investigation, we’re going to close your case, and pretty much that was it,” Santiago said.

Ulrich contacted Cash App’s corporate office in California, and 48 hours later, Cordy received a text explaining that the company was refunding her nearly $7,000 and closing her old account.

Cash App told Action 9 the company has added technology to prevent and detect fraudulent activity before there’s any transaction, and customers should only contact the company through its app or website.

A Cash App spokesperson said they are still reviewing Santiago’s complaint.

Cordy said she struggled to get a response on her own. “There’s nobody to call.”

With any mobile payment app, consumers should protect their accounts. They shouldn’t link the app to their checking account or debit card. Instead, consumers should use a credit card to open these accounts. That gives the user a 60-day window of fraud protection.

CASH APP STATEMENT:

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.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.