Knoxville woman’s stimulus money disappears from Cash App account

Investigations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — With the widespread use of smartphones, more and more people are using mobile payment service apps on their phones such as PayPal, Venmo or Apple Wallet. Within the last year, grocery store chains like Publix and Kroger debuted their mobile payment apps. The use of these “mobile wallets” is fast and easy.

But sometimes – it comes with a price, if either used improperly or if you make a mistake.

WATE 6 On Your Side’s Don Dare spoke with a young Knoxville woman who recently lost hundreds of dollars within a matter of minutes and how she couldn’t get it back.

Since the spring of 2020, Kristina McClure has used a mobile payment service on her phone — Cash App. The service allows you to receive and transfer money with the click of a button. You can also get a physical card with Cash App, which can be used as a debit card out of your Cash App account balance.

“So, it’s easy to access to my money,” McClure said. But, on the morning of Dec. 31st, $600 from her federal stimulus check appeared in her Cash App account.

Minutes later, it was gone. Here’s what she says happened:

“Somebody named ‘TrulyParadiseJJJ’ asked for 600. So, before I could decline it, I was trying to see who they were? Like show me more information about this person,” McClure said. “So, I hit ‘BACK.’ When I hit ‘BACK,’ the money was gone. It gave me the balance of a dollar that I already had on my account. And, it’s weird because it has never happened before. At least it gives you a chance if to say ‘Yes’ if you want to send somebody that much money. I wouldn’t give nobody 600 dollars. Not that much money because I could really use that money.”

With her account showing the 600 dollars gone, she immediately contacted Cash App.

“I’ve sent them the screenshot that I have of the person asking for it. And I’ve sent the screenshot of me saying no. And asking for it back. They asked for my legal name,” she said.

Cash App also contacted Kristina McClure and had her answer a series of questions. She provided the information to them.

In a call, Cash App tells 6 On Your Side it is working with Kristina to figure out what happened. In a statement from the mobile payment company, we were told “preventing fraud is critically important to Cash App.”

The company says it “continues to invest in and bolster fraud-fighting resources adapting new technology and increasing staff. And, is “constantly improving systems and controls to help prevent, detect, and report bad activity on its platform.”

One thing about mobile payment services, the payments are instant and usually cannot be canceled.

For Cash App, however, you can use the “request” button on your Cash App home screen to ask for the funds back, which is apparently what Kristina tried to do.

Cash App says it is working to protect its customers, posting information about potential scams and how to follow “best practices” regarding scammers, fraudsters, and phishing attempts.

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