If you have been a Venmo user for some time, you must have encountered a message that asks you to provide your SSN (Social Security Number) information.
If you are clueless about why Venmo could be asking for such details, you have come to the right place.
You might be on the fence about providing your SSN details to the Venmo app and wondering whether it is at all safe to do so.
Your worries are absolutely valid. Social Security Number and any such personal details should be cautiously shared.
But, when it comes to the Venmo app or any other such money-transfer apps such as Cash App, there are genuine explanations behind asking for your SSN.
They require your personal details for identity verification and other related formalities.
In this blog, we will be answering your question of “why does Venmo need my SSN?” so that you can rest easy knowing that you are not getting yourself in hot water. Let’s get started.
What is Venmo?
Before we dive right into “why does Venmo need my SSN?”, let us give a brief introduction to Venmo.
It is a payment platform that falls under the United States Treasury Department.
The United States Treasury Department is responsible for looking after all the transactions that take place using the platform.
The department closely regulates and monitors all the money transfers that happen within the platform and keeps a record of who is sending money to whom and how much.
In order to prevent any kind of misconduct, the department asks for SSN details through Venmo so as to make sure that the individual is not fraudulent.
What Should I Do If Someone Requests My Social Security Number?
In this day and age, where most payment methods have become digitized, you will come across several platforms requesting for your SSN details.
It should be up to you to decide whether it is right or wrong to give up your SSN details to that particular organization.
You should be smart enough to conduct thorough research on the platform asking for your sensitive information and conclude whether they are legitimate or not.
Identity thefts and money scams are becoming commonplace nowadays owing to the ignorance of some users who are not well-versed with the dangers of the internet.
If you do not wish to become a victim of anything like that, it is best if you first look into the platform which is requesting your information.
However, in the case of Venmo, you should breathe easy knowing that it is safe to share your SSN details.
Venmo is owned by Paypal and both the organizations are legitimate and safe. Both of these transaction platforms ask for SSN details for identity verification.
Even though it is safe to provide your SSN details with Venmo, make sure not to click on any links relating to it since they can be phishing websites.
Moreover, make sure to use only the official app of Venmo and not some random version of it since they can be fraudulent.
Why Does Venmo Need My SSN?
As already mentioned, Venmo is a payment platform that is regulated by the United States Treasury Department.
As a result, the money transfer service requires your SSN details along with your other personal details that they are obligated to gather in order to authenticate the identification of its users in accordance with FDIC regulations.
Venmo must follow government regulations in order to maintain your confidential info in a federal database.
They will also demand a driver’s license, a work or home address, a tax ID number, and other papers to prevent counterfeit accounts from being established on their site.
The Venmo app is, in fact, quite transparent about why and when they need your details.
Their website even lists the events that can trigger the platform to ask for your SSN details.
If you conduct the following transactions on the platform, chances are you will be asked for your SSN:
- Transfer $300 or more in the span of 7 days
- Send $1000 or more to your bank in the span of 7 days
- Make a group account on Venmo
- Conduct more than 200 transactions in a year with a business profile
As previously mentioned, Venmo has a tie-up with Paypal hence keep in mind that the platform will not ask for your SSN details randomly.
Hence, when you notice Venmo asking you to provide your details, it is a legitimate and genuine request.
But, since injustices are widespread, it is always safe to make sure that the request is by Venmo and not some other platform.
In order to do that, it is best to verify your sensitive information from the Venmo app only and not through any email link provided to you.
If an email has been sent to you asking for your SSN, check the email address to make sure it is the official ID of Venmo.
Scammers are continuously hunting for weak victims to exploit.
It is preferable to verify this information manually using the Venmo application rather than via an email attachment or link of any kind.
Another important thing you should note is that this is a one-time security check and once verified, the platform will never ask for your SSN details again.
Hence, if you see another request for your sensitive information, it can be a counterfeit message in order to steal your information.
How Does Venmo Protect My Data?
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) considers money services to be beneficial for currency conversion, money transfer, and currency trading.
Because Venmo is a money-transfer service provided by PayPal, all of the rules listed above apply to it as well.
When someone transmits money to another individual, a transaction charge is collected from their credit card or bank.
Venmo maintains a record of all transactions. You may also see the transaction’s timing and other data. These particulars cannot be changed or swapped.
Venmo ensures that the user’s transaction history will stay unaltered even if the user’s bank or the app commits a technical glitch.
However, the security of any data is not assured and is always reliant on the organization and its customers.
It is normal to ask whether giving sensitive information like your SSN to Venmo is a good idea.
Although Venmo does have its own regulations in place to keep your personal information safe, there is no failsafe way to keep your data safe.
Venmo has a genuine reason to request your personal details to abide by the terms.
However, you must also take the required precautions to provide data only when required and to use Venmo securely.
Venmo, in itself, might not be a threat to you- theoretically speaking, Venmo can utilize this information for illicit reasons.
Despite the fact that there is no practical gain to the corporation from acting in this manner.
Unless they intend to be closed down or have their CEOs imprisoned, there is no actual possibility of that occurring.
But it is still important to be safe when providing such information since online injustices take place in unprecedented ways nowadays.
The irony of the situation is that Venmo—which has acknowledged that emails requesting a social security number are genuine—is doing this because cash applications are frequently used to defraud users out of money through techniques such as phishing, vishing and smishing.
By restricting the creation of counterfeit accounts, requiring individuals to further prove their identities might help put an end to these abuses.
Using the Venmo application to complete the procedure can effectively protect you from any attack.
Yet, there is a real threat in disclosing any details online, particularly sensitive information like your SSN.
Even if consumers are not the main targets of any attack, storing classified info such as a social security number by a corporation or agency like Venmo might be risky due to the possibility of security breaches.
Nonetheless, identity verification and authentication are critical steps that must be performed to combat most of the identity frauds that exist.
As a result, we advise consumers to engage in identity authentication processes if they are doing business with a respectable and well-known vendor, as this is a vital approach to safeguard themselves.
Since it requires extra processes, verifying your identification might make it more difficult for criminal actors to carry out these schemes.
So, if you receive a notification from Venmo, it is legitimate and you should go ahead with it as long as you double-check that it is from Venmo.
Yes, you will still be able to use the Venmo app even if you refuse to share your SSN details. However, you will not be able to enjoy all the features of the platform.
If you do not share your SSN, you will still be able to send money to other users or businesses using your bank account or credit card.
You will also be able to receive money from other users. However, you won’t be able to use Venmo balance. In order for the platform to store your transactions on its own database, it must need your SSN details.
Experts say that utilizing Venmo with its restricted capabilities is not a bad idea.
Sure, you won’t be able to use a few features, but you will, at least, be relieved knowing that your sensitive information cannot be exploited.
How To Provide My SSN With Venmo
Now that you have your answer to the question “why does Venmo need my SSN?”, let us teach you how to provide your details if you have indeed decided to give the information to the platform.
Step 1: Launch the Venmo application on your mobile device.
Step 2: Click on the You section on the main screen of the app. This will take you to the menu of the app.
Step 3: After that, click on Settings and then on Identity Verification. Next, just keep on following the on-screen instructions to complete your identity verification.
This is how you can update your information with Venmo. Note that this can only be done through their mobile app and not the website.
How Can I Better Safeguard Myself?
In this age of digitization, it has become increasingly important to protect oneself from the wrath of scammers.
We have listed a few generic pointers below that you must keep in mind when using Venmo.
- Use the platform to conduct transactions with only the people and businesses you know.
- Never share your Venmo credentials with anybody.
- Log out of your Venmo account once in a while. Do not keep signed in to your account all the time.
In this blog, we attempted to answer your question of “why does Venmo need my SSN?”.
Providing your SSN to Venmo is completely secure, although it is obvious why several users are concerned at first.
Giving away any info on the internet comes with a slew of threats, including phishing, ransomware, as well as good old identification theft.
If the Venmo app requests your SSN, you have triggered the identification verification. If you haven’t, it is most likely a fraud that you must block or ignore.