A Random Person Sent Me Money on Cash App: Is It a Scam? [2023]

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Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Rebecca Lake

Cash App is a mobile payment app that makes it easy to send money to friends and family members or receive payments. Cash App users can even invest in cryptocurrency through the platform. 

But what happens if you open the Cash App only to see a payment you weren’t expecting? Your first thought might be, “A random person sent me money on Cash App? Is it a mistake, a scam or something else?”

There are several reasons why a random Cash App payment might show up in your transaction history.

In some cases, it might be an honest mistake where someone has sent money to the wrong person. But it could also be a sign that Cash App scammers are hard at work.

If you use Cash App or other money transfer apps, it’s important to know how to spot a potential scam if you receive random money and what to do next.

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What Is Cash App?

Cash App is a money transfer service that works similar to other legitimate peer to peer payment apps, such as Venmo or Apple Pay. When you sign up for a Cash App account you can pay close friends and family members instantly, get paid up to two days early with direct deposit or invest in stocks and crypto.

You can also spend from your Cash App balance using the Cash App card. The Cash App card is a free debit card that you can use anywhere Visa is accepted.

An estimated 24 million people in the United States use Cash App to send and receive payments. Cash App offers convenient access to your money without the high fees you might pay to use other money transfer apps.

You can even legitimately get money for free using Cash App flips. For example, if you don’t have a Cash App account yet you can set one up using code VZXRXZV and get $5 in free money when you send your first payment within 14 days.

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5 Reasons Why a Random Person Sent Me Money on Cash App

With so many online scams perpetrated by con artists, you might be leery of seeing that a random person sent you money on Cash App. Understanding why you might receive money randomly on Cash App can help you to determine if it’s legit or a potential scam.

Reason #1: Cash App user error

One of the most common reasons why you might receive money from a stranger on Cash App is simple human error.

In order to send a payment on Cash App, Cash App users need to enter the recipient’s details correctly. If someone enters in the wrong phone number or $CashTag$, then the initial payment that was meant for their friend or family member could end up in your account instead.

So what’s the best way to handle a random Cash App payment that doesn’t belong to you?

The best thing you can do is send the money back to the original user, using their Cash Tag, once Cash App gives you the okay to do so. That gives the sender time to reverse the payment on their end first.

Reason #2: Someone sent you money through a third party

If a friend or family member owes you money but doesn’t have a Cash App account, they might ask someone else who does to send you a payment. They’ll pay the money owed to the Cash App user who then uses your payment information to forward it to you.

That might seem a little complicated but sending money through Cash App might be the best option if the person who’s paying you back wants to make sure there’s a paper trail. It may also be easier to ask someone else to send you a Cash App payment if they don’t live close to you and aren’t comfortable mailing you cash or a paper check.

If you see that an unknown person sent you money on Cash App with a profile icon you don’t recognize, the first thing you might want to do is check the notes section. That’s where the sender can add a description of what the money’s for.

You can also check your text messages to see if anyone who owes you money has sent a message about the payment. If you’re able to confirm that a seemingly random Cash App payment is legit, then the money is yours to do with as you like.

woman using a cellphone a random person sent me money on cash app
A Random Person Sent Me Money on Cash App

Reason #3: You received a referral bonus

Cash App offers a referral bonus when a friend or family member creates a new account using your invitation link. If you see a random Cash App payment, it could be because you’ve earned a referral bonus.

When you receive a small referral payment, it should tell you the name of the person who signed up. If the name is an unknown person, that could be because your friend or family member shared your referral link with someone they know.

Cash App referral bonuses are 100% legitimate so you don’t need to worry if you see these showing up in your transaction history.

Here’s how to earn a Cash App referral bonus:

  • Get your unique invite code in the Cash App
  • Send the code to friends and family members
  • Encourage them to add their debit card or bank account information to their Cash App account and send $5 or more to someone else within 14 days

That’s an easy way to get free money with Cash App.

Reason #4: It’s a legitimate gift

In some cases, a random person might send you money on Cash App as a random act of kindness. For example, there’s a Cash App Pay It Forward Facebook group with more than 2,000 members that’s all about surprising people with a small amount of money on Cash App.

I’ve never been able to say that a random person sent me money on Cash App but I have sent money to people I didn’t know through a Facebook group similar to the one mentioned earlier. So I know that people do, indeed, use Cash App to send money to strangers in need for no other reason than they want to pay it forward a little.

If you receive a surprise payment from an unknown person, you can check the notes section to see if they provided a reason for the money. If there’s no note, the next best course of action might be to leave the money alone for a few business days to make sure no one sends a refund request asking for it back.

If you get money from someone claiming to be a good Samaritan, you can reach out to Cash App customer support to ask their opinion about whether it might be a possible scam.

Reason #5: It’s a scam

While Cash App is a legitimate money transfer service, it also attracts a lot of scammers whose only goal is to defraud Cash App users. Avoiding scammers is a good reason to do your due diligence any time you’re accepting payments or sending money through Cash App.

Here are some of the most common Cash App scams to watch out for.

Fake Sweepstakes Scams

Cash App routinely sponsors giveaways through different social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram. Cash App users can vie for real cash prizes and bonuses.

The downside is that scammers use those legitimate giveaways as an opportunity to run scams on unsuspecting Cash App users. 

They may go as far as setting up fake websites or social media accounts to trick you into thinking you’ve won something. The scam happens when you receive a partial payment, with a request to send back money through Cash App to cover processing fees.

You send the money, thinking that the rest of your cash prize will soon be on its way to your Cash App account. But in reality, you’re the victim of a Cash App scam and not only have you not won anything, but you’re also out the money you sent to cover the prize “fee”.

Refund Request Scams

Another common Cash App scam involves someone sending you money, then reaching out via direct message. The message will typically say something along the lines of the payment being a mistake, then they’ll ask you to send the money back to them.

That doesn’t sound scammy but the fraud happens when they ask you to send money to a different account than the one the payment was originally sent from. Or you might send the money back to the same sender account, then the scammer submits a refund request to the Cash App team.

If Cash App issues the refund after you’ve already sent them the money back, the scammer has doubled their money. Meanwhile, they may deactivate their spam account and open a new Cash App account so they can move on to their next victim.

Cash App Flip Scams

Flipping money generally means turning one amount of money into more money. While there are legitimate Cash App Flips you can do to make money, there are also plenty of flip scams.

For example, someone might send you a random Cash App request asking you to send them $10 with the guarantee that they can turn it into $100. You send them the $10 and they send you back the $100.

So far, so good but now they ask you to send that same $100 back, with the promise that they can turn it into $1,000. After seeing them flip your $10 into $100, you agree and send them the $100. You then wait patiently for your $1,000 payment to show up in your Cash App but it never does.

Ghost Payment Scams

Another common Cash App scam involves fake payments when you’re selling something to make money. For example, you might be selling things around the house that you don’t need on Facebook for quick cash.

A scammer might tell you they’ve sent you money on Cash App but you don’t see the payment. Meanwhile, they hound you into handing over the item they’ve supposedly purchased or they tell you that they’ve changed their mind and want a refund.

You might feel pressured to either give them the item or refund money that you technically never received. In either case, you’re in the right place to be scammed.

woman using cellphone
What to Do If You Receive a Random Cash App Payment

A Random Person Sent Me Money on Cash App: Now What?

When using payment apps like Cash App, it’s always important to protect your personal information and your financial information. If a stranger sends you money on Cash App, it’s important to know what to do next to avoid falling victim to a scam.

The following steps outline some best practices for dealing with random Cash App payments.

1. Try to identify the sender

In some cases, a random person sending you money on Cash App may actually be someone you know. They just might have changed their $CashTag$ or they’re using a third party to send money to you.

A simple way to figure out who might have sent a random payment is to ask. Check with friends and family members to see if anyone has sent you money through Cash App lately. You can also check with coworkers or classmates if either one applies to you.

If you can’t figure out who the unknown person is that sent you money on Cash App, you can move on to the next step.

2. Contact Cash App support

When you suspect a possible scam, you’ll want to get in touch with Cash App customer service ASAP.

The best way to reach out to Cash support is through the app. Here’s how to get help:

  • Log in to Cash App, go to your profile and select “Support”
  • Choose the “Something Else” options
  • You can click the “Contact Support” button to email Cash App representatives
  • On the “Describe Your Issue” form, you can enter a description of what happened and submit it to support

Cash App support does not have an email address but you can contact them by phone. If you’d rather report a potential scam through a phone call, you can reach the support team at 1-800-989-1940, Monday through Friday from 9 am to 7 pm EST.

3. Consider blocking the sender

If you’re receiving a steady stream of direct messages from a random user on Cash App, you might want to block them. That way, they can’t contact you any more using that specific Cash App account.

You can also reach out to Cash App support to share the person’s $CashTag$ and report a possible scam.

4. Do nothing

In some cases, you may just want to wait and see what happens if a random person sends you money on Cash App. If it’s the result of entering the wrong recipient’s details, they might realize their mistake and reverse the transaction themselves.

In that case, Cash App will make sure the money gets back to them so there’s nothing else you need to do.

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Tips for Keeping Your Cash App Account Safe

Cash App doesn’t offer buyer protection or fraud protection so it’s up to you to protect your sensitive information. If you’re worried about Cash App scams, these tips can help you to secure your account:

  • Never share your login credentials or Cash App pin with anyone.
  • Enable two-factor authentication for an added layer of security.
  • Always verify any emails from Cash App requesting verification of your Social Security number or credit card numbers.
  • Avoid using unsecured Wi-Fi to access your Cash App account.
  • Report any emails from Cash App that request remote access to your account or ask you to verify a test transaction using the last four digits of a linked bank account.
  • Hide your virtual Cash Card info in the app and disable it if your device is lost or stolen.

Perhaps the best way to avoid Cash App scams is to remember this rule: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

And if you suspect any kind of financial fraud that’s linked to your Cash App account, you can report it to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

What happens if a random person sends you money on the Cash App?

If a random person sends you money on Cash App, the best way to handle it may be to ask Cash App support for help. Cash App representatives can handle any refund requests or reversals if a payment that was sent to you was intended for someone else.

Can you get scammed if someone sends you money on Cash App?

It’s absolutely possible to get scammed if someone sends you money on Cash App randomly or sends you a random request for money through the app. Knowing what the most common Cash App scams are can help you to avoid them.

Should I accept money from a stranger on Cash App?

Accepting money from a stranger on Cash App can be risky if you don’t know who they are or why they’re trying to send you money. You could be putting your financial information or personal information at risk by allowing an unknown person to send you money.

Final thoughts

While Cash App scams do persist, the app is still a great way to conveniently send money to friends and family or receive payments. Knowing how to spot a potential scam can help you to protect yourself if you’re in a situation where a random person has sent you money.

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A Random Person Sent Me Money on Cash App

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About Rebecca Lake

Rebecca Lake is a freelance writer, personal finance expert and homeschooling single mom of two. Since 2014, she's paid off nearly $100,000 in debt and grown her net worth to seven figures. Her work has appeared online at top personal finance websites, including Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Investopedia, The Balance, CreditCards.com and U.S. News & World Report. Find out more.

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