Venmo still causing problems for poker pros; how to fix the issue

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on March 19, 2021 11:19 am EDT

Shannon Shorr recently informed his Twitter followers he was finally able to recover his Venmo account. For many poker players, Venmo is a necessary app for transferring funds, but it’s also caused some major issues in recent months.

Shorr, Mike Matusow, Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, and numerous other poker pros have reported their Venmo accounts were hacked or terminated. That has caused problems for the poker players who use the app to transfer money to other players they owe.

“Looks like my Venmo has been hacked & email connected to the account changed. I’ve tried calling, emailing & contacting @venmo & @VenmoSupport with no response for the last hour,” Seidel wrote in November.

Venmo is especially useful to poker players during COVID-19. With a global health pandemic continuing to spread in the U.S., many live players have turned to online private home games.

These private games take place on play money apps such as PokerStars since the site isn’t available in the U.S. Players then transfer their buy-ins to other players via payment processing services such as Venmo, PayPal, and others.

Venmo is considered a preferred payment method among poker players because it is convenient and, apparently until recently, safe and secure. It takes a matter of seconds to transfer money and the funds are instantly available to the recipient. On top of that, Venmo users have access to a detailed transaction history, so they never have to worry about proving they made a payment.

But over the past few months, the app has become a serious problem for many poker players. Accounts have been hacked, locked, or terminated, and multiple pros have reported Venmo won’t respond to their emails.

Solving the problem

Shorr’s hacked Venmo account was finally restored, and he miraculously received a full refund. He shared that information with poker Twitter, and also gave some advice on how to rectify the problem to those facing the same issue with the payment app.

“Was able to recover hacked Venmo account and remarkably obtained full refund. For those still locked out, I’d recommend spamming them through email and DM with URGENT URGENT URGeNT in title. Importantly, everyone should close Venmo accounts,” Shorr tweeted.

If that doesn’t work, there is a helpful article on the Venmo website with information on how to get a frozen account reinstated. But the information provided in the article may only apply to some of the poker players locked out.

The other option, and this won’t help retrieve your lost funds, is to find another way to pay. Some popular payment methods include Zelle, Cash App, and PayPal. You can even purchase stocks and Bitcoin with Cash App, and the app, much like Venmo, provides detailed logs of transactions for your reference.

PayPal is one of the oldest ways to transfer money online. But the app also has its detractors and there have been reports of hacking similar to Venmo. Many don’t like the fees associated with PayPal. If you pay via the “goods and services” selection, a 2.9% fee is subtracted from the payment. There is no fee if paid through “friends and family,” but the person transferring the money has no recourse of action in the event a refund is desired.

Featured image source: Flickr