Now You Can Send Money On Facebook; Here’s Why That’s A Very Bad Idea

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Sending Real Money To Contacts On Facebook: It’s A Thing Now
There’s a new icon in the Facebook Private Message dialog box, and it represents Facebook’s latest bid to become your one-stop site for everything you might want to do on the web.

That “Send Money” box is not a button, it’s text that pops up to describe the money icon when you mouse over it.

When you click on that icon, a form is opened up that allows you to send money to the contact named in the message via Venmo. Here’s why you should never, NEVER do it.

 

1. It’s Facebook.
You know, Facebook: that site where users’ profiles get hacked on a regular basis, where site changes are rolled out without any advance warning whether you want them or not, where past software updates have temporarily exposed users’ private content, where every piece of content you ever share or upload to the site becomes and remains the property of Facebook to do with what they want.

Yeah, that Facebook.

My point is not that I think Facebook will purposely steal your personal financial data (the payment processing is actually handled by Venmo in a secure connection), but that Facebook is hardly a bulletproof platform. Things can and do go wrong on the site all the time.

 

2. It’s Venmo.
Venmo is a division of PayPal now, but it’s not run like PayPal. Venmo is tailor-made to suit hackers because it does not alert you when someone has logged into your account, it does not alert you when a payment has been made from your account, and it has no telephone-based customer support. You can only contact Venmo to deal with issues of theft and fraud on your account via email or—I’m serious about this—Twitter. And shockingly, users who’ve been victimized typically report their emails went unanswered until they tweeted.

Does that sound like a financial institution that deserves your trust? Are you in the habit of tweeting about a suspicious transaction in your Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Chase bank account?

There have been MANY reports of Venmo users’ accounts being fraudulently drained.

Here’s a Nextshark write-up about a 6/22/15 incident in which the Venmo user was robbed of $3k.

Here’s Slate’s take, from February of this year, which reports on another Venmo account theft, this one just under $3k: Venmo Money, Venmo Problems

Here, Engadget reports on why Venmo’s response to these problems has been inadequate: Venmo halfheartedly responds to its mobile payment security woes.

 

3. It makes con artists’ lives SO much easier.
More than one lonely heart has been taken in by an online scammer who pretended to be a long distance love interest only in order to ask the victim for money. Those scammers must be rubbing their hands in evil, cackling anticipation at this new development.

 

So just go ahead and ignore that little Send Money icon, and if you ever click it by accident, CLOSE THAT POP-UP WINDOW!

 

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And now…

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Fire Tablet Tip of the Week: KF on KND Mailbag: Fire Tablet Won’t Connect Via USB

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