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Woman robbed via Venmo during in-person interaction

The victim is now warning others about high-tech pickpocketing.
BBB warns about Venmo scams where crooks send money 'by accident'
Posted at 10:31 AM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 17:30:21-05

ORLANDO, Fla. — Pickpocketers are going high-tech and now one victim is sharing her story.

A woman in Florida says a boy who looked about 12 years old used her phone to steal nearly $4,000.

Shannon Fraser said the boy went up to her while she was walking her dog and said he was lost and needed to borrow her phone.

“Your first instinct is to help a kid. Like immediately. Without thinking, and of course, hindsight is 20/20, I just handed him my phone,” Fraser said.

After their three-minute interaction, Fraser said she didn’t think anything of it and walked away.

That was until she started receiving alerts from her bank.

“Two Venmo transfers were approved. One was in the amount of $1,800. The other one was in the amount of $2,000. And that's when I stopped dead in my tracks,” she said.

Fraser contacted Venmo and not only discovered that money had been transferred to the boy’s account. But also, that the boy’s account was set up about 30 minutes before they met.

I feel like this is the new pickpocket,” Fraser said.

The Better Business Bureau says people should set up Face ID and a pin on their bank apps, not just on their phone.