Sellers Beware / heads up: chargebacks from CashApp, Venmo + Venmo account frozen

OP here - a bit more info on this. Got a few more emails from Venmo and in addition to / related to my “frozen” account, multiple Bisq-related Venmo sales I conducted were apparently “charged back” to my account long after the transaction completed. Typical / common scam, not unique to Venmo at all. But it just drives home the point that Venmo / Paypal / probably other fiat-based payment methods are simply too risky to rely on for use like this. I’m out $1200, AND I’m out the BTC I sold. What a pain in the ass.

It’s not Bisq’s fault of course, it’s the weakness of the payment methods. A seller using Venmo etc. has zero protection / assurance that the buyer won’t simply do a chargeback and get the fiat transaction reversed, leaving the seller screwed out of the coin they sold.

I’m worried now that other Bisq sales I’ve done using Zelle and Cashapp methods will also be charged back to me, seems like it’s just a matter of time.

Such a bummer. Fiat transactions are one of the biggest draws to using Bisq, but they’re inherently the weakest link in the whole system and effectively render the experience useless and financially harmful to the seller. At this point I think I’m done using Bisq for anything but crypto-to-crypto transactions, which are protected by immutable multisig contracts and aren’t reversible once completed. If I need fiat, I’m just going to stick to using a full traditional exchange. :frowning:

Bisq shouldn’t allow payment methods that have high risk of chargeback.
This is why Bisq doesn’t support Paypal and credit cards as payment methods.

I guess the risk of a chargeback was miscalculated in Venmo.
Maybe @Alfsbs can look into this and consider removing Venmo as a payment method.

Edit: If you have some details about the trader that did a chargeback, such as payment details or onion address at least, you can maybe send them to one of the devs to see if they can do something about it. Perhaps warn other users not to trade with that person.

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Crap. I called it right on the nose, unfortunately. Just now saw that CashApp is now also hitting me with “refunding deposit” chargeback messages for another 2 Bisq transactions (sales) that I did recently. My CashApp account just got drained ~$650 to cover the chargebacks.

It seems that scammers are wising up to Bisq and are utilizing the fragile payment methods to buy BTC, then waiting a few days before initiating a chargeback. So now I’ve lost ~$1200 via Venmo, and now another $650 via CashApp. Dammit.

If you’re selling on Bisq, DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENTS USING VENMO OR CASHAPP!!! You might as well be giving away your BTC for free on pure trust that the transaction won’t be reversed on you a week later.

Waiting now to see if any of my Zelle transactions get chargebacked also.

Yeah, I’m going through my Bisq history and “tagging” the transactions with the buyers who scammed me so far (using Venmo, and now - CashApp as well). Not sure how much good it’d do to alert anyone re: the specific onion address? It’s trivial for a scammer to just installl fresh / clear settings / get a new ID and start over, right?

Yeah, this is a cost of a censorship resistant application.
But if you maybe have some details about their fiat accounts, maybe names or something (I am not familiar with neither Venmo nor CashApp so I don’t know what kind of details you expose during trades), that could at least warn users to avoid those specific accounts unless we figure out if we still want to support these payment methods.

Edit 05/17/2018 added scammer details “account age” and “# of trades” info per @ManfredKarrer request

Sure, can’t hurt I suppose…

Here are my scammers: (so far)

Venmo - Holder name: Rhoanne De_guzman, Venmo username: Rhoanne-De-Guzman
jinspb4cs57j3o7g.onion (Venmo chargeback on TX XUI9UQ4V-bcf32c09-7e8d-41fe-aabd-d890ded199ce-06)

  • Account age as of May 17, 2018 = 19 days
  • Number of trades as of May 17, 2018 = 1

Venmo - Holder name: Amy Abbott, Venmo username: Amy-Abbott-4
(Venmo chargeback on TX PNRCV9A-2d9afc9a-b25b-45cc-a441-22260cbf2da7-067)

  • Account age as of May 17, 2018 = 53 days
  • Number of tades as of May 17, 2018 = 3

Venmo - Holder name: Carl Aliff, Venmo username: Carl-Aliff
(Venmo chargeback on TX HOFUZ1P6-92425aec-7ea9-4df0-a9f2-df6cfcc6fb6a-067)

<see above for account age / # of trades>

CashApp - Account: $ssl0319
(CashApp chargeback on TX sIWQbH-922aced7-4eb8-404e-a0a9-3a69d7b0d05e-067)
(CashApp chargeback on TX 29793082-c42d01c5-2577-4b15-a0ae-74ade9999989-067)

  • Account age as of May 17, 2018 = 53 days
  • Number of trades as of May 17, 2018 = 2

And here’s a more recent transaction I did (yesterday) that hasn’t been chargedback to me yet, but note that the buyer’s onion address is the same as two of my other confirmed scams. Odds are super high that this transaction is about to come back to hit me as well in the very near future…

CashApp - Account: $gjohnson527
(CashApp purchase on TX 753943-d070cda9-02e9-4d53-beb9-750f06b13cb3-067)

<see above for account age / # of trades>

So clearly the scammers are using multiple payment profiles / methods, sometimes from the same onion address in my case.

What a mess. I’m done using any and all methods of receiving fiat that carry a possibility of chargebacks. Which at this point leaves, what, nothing? Has anyone gotten popped with a Zelle chargeback yet? Seems that’s the next one to hit me…

I set up the following 4 fiat payment methods in Bisq and have been experimenting with both buys and sells for the past 2 months. Mixed results at best:

Venmo (got chargebacked + Venmo account frozen - lost $1,200 USD so far)
CashApp (got chargebacked, lost $650 USD so far)
Direct Deposit at Bank (failed because my bank - BofA - won’t accept deposits from anyone unless they also have a BofA account) no losses, but no sales either.
Zelle (no problems yet, but seems they’re vulnerable to chargebacks also?)

At least in the US, I’m apparently out of luck when it comes to finding a safe online service to allow fiat transactions for use with Bisq. So far Zelle has been the only 100% successful method, but I’m not holding my breath…

I’m done using Bisq for fiat transactions. The scammer chargebacks and bank restrictions are killing it.

To be honest, this is maybe the second time that we ever had a chargeback in Bisq.
And you seem to have gotten a chargeback multiple times in just last couple of days, quite a bad luck you have there, if anything.

Zelle is an older payment method that Bisq has been using for a long time, I doubt you will be having any issues with it. Venmo is quite new in comparison, as far as I remember.

I’ve made 38 trades total on Bisq, mostly sells, since I started using it in March 2018.

5 chargebacks since May 4th.

Thanks for your detailed reports!
Can you PM me asap?

Is the .onion address immutable over sessions ?
Isn’t it just enough to reboot bisq to get another .onion adress ?

At the moment, there is great need for fiat<->crypto exchanges,
but the future growth of bisq is maybe indeed more in crypto<->crypto.
Chargeback is rather easy and if the word spreads, many people maybe tempted.
A. Antonopolous has produced a video (link was given here) where he warns specifically about that
… some bad people may well have also seen the video and well catch the point.

No they don’t change. They are your network ID.

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Just as update: I blocked the onion addresses and accounts from the scammers. Might be one person, at least the same onion address for multiple accounts suggests that. I am in contact with the victims and we consider further steps…

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I was wondering about a classic reputation system … but the problem with (positive) reputation system, is that, by definition, it collects info, on all/every users, which is not very good for anonymity at least.
But what about a reverse reputation system.
Where reputation is only memorized for bad behaviours.
For instance, if it is noticed that a same onion adress is involved in more than 1 scam
… then, being recorded in some kind of blacklist, may be a good thing.

On the other hand, I imagine that a careful deinstall/reinstall of bisq may provoke a new onion adress ?
(or I’m wrong and there is some key method which avoids that ?)

Apologies for all those questions.

edit : ah ah, Manfred did cut the grass under my feet :slight_smile:

See IMPORTANT: Cash App and Venmo payment methods have been blocked due to chargeback activity

The scammer can easily use different computers. The onion address is not suitable as reputation ID as it is cheap to create a new one.

@ElGuapoAmigo Can you please check what the account age of the scammers was? You can see it when clicking the peers icon (at portfolio/history).
Just want to know when they have started their account.

This is why I think a maker approval window along with secure chat will arguably do more in allowing users to protect themselves against bad actors by giving them the option to screen takers/reconfirm trade terms and prevent issues down stream.

Done - just edited my earlier reply w. the rest of the scammer details to include this…

Apologies for the delay in getting this to you. I’ve been kinda busy trying to see if there’s anything that can be done with Venmo and CashApp support teams, so far no luck. If anything, they’ve been completely crappy with me, locking down my account and in CashApp’s case, they’re not even letting me access the remaining USD funds left in there (it’s only a few $ so no biggie, but still - insult to injury). In both cases, the support team is treating ME like the criminal / bad actor. Because in their eyes, activity hit my account that violates their terms of service and/or the fraud prevention policies of the OTHER party’s bank. So even though I’ve done nothing wrong, and the bad activity happened TO me, and was not caused BY me, they’re punishing me. Absolutely ridiculous.

I’ve since gone ahead and unlinked my US bank account from both Venmo and CashApp, and in the case of CashApp I’m now slowly siphoning out the small amount of Bitcoin I have stored on there. Venmo’s first to get shut down. As soon as I’m done getting my Bitcoin off CashApp, I’m demanding they delete my account and I will never use them again. I already shut down my PayPal account as well, just on principle alone. Never had a problem with them, but everything I’ve read during this whole mess tells me that they’re just as susceptible to chargebacks as Venmo and CashApp are. Besides, PayPal owns Venmo.

Educational for sure. Cost me $1,850 to learn how easy it is for scammers to exploit these payment methods. Glad it wasn’t worse.