Privacy Virtual Cards
Spending Limits

Set a spending limit and Privacy will decline any transactions that go over the limit

Merchant-Locked Cards

Lock Privacy Cards to the first merchant they’re used at to prevent misuse if stolen

Single-Use Cards

Create Privacy Cards that close automatically after the first purchase is made on them

Pause/Close Cards

Pause or close your Privacy Cards at any time to block future transaction attempts

Sign Up For Privacy Now

Is Using a Stolen Credit Card on Cash App Possible? Understanding the Risks

Ashley Ferraro, Product
May 3, 2024
 Min Read
Protect Your Payments With Virtual Cards

With over 56 million monthly active users and $1.18 billion in gross profit as of December 2023, Cash App remains the most popular finance app in app stores. Available in the U.S. and the U.K., this payment service makes transacting online simple. 

Still, as card fraud continues to be a threat, users and cardholders may be concerned about their safety on the app. A common question on their minds is whether criminals can exploit stolen card information via Cash App. This article aims to shed light on this pressing topic, answering the following questions:

  • How does Cash App work, and how does it protect users?
  • Is using a stolen credit card on Cash App possible?
  • What steps can users take to protect their financial information?

The content in this article is valid as of March 2024. Please visit the official Cash App website or contact customer support for updates and personalized advice.

How Does Cash App Work?

Cash App provides various financial services to users and businesses—from peer-to-peer transfers to tax filing. The app stands out from its competitors like PayPal and Venmo with its savings management features, brokerage, and Bitcoin services, which are provided by Cash App's partner organizations.

To start using Cash App, you need to do the following:

  1. Install the app on your iOS or Android device.
  2. Create an account by entering your email address or phone number.
  3. Verify your identity with a secret code sent to your email address or phone.
  4. Connect your funding source or set up direct deposit within the app.
  5. Choose a unique username you'll use to send and receive money ($cashtag).
  6. Provide your zip code.

You can link your credit card or debit card by entering your card numbers, expiration date, and security code. To link a bank account, you should log into your banking app through Cash App and select the accounts you want to add. 

You can add money to your Cash App Balance through the linked source, direct deposit, or paper money deposit at supported locations. In case you initiate a transfer but don't have money in your balance, Cash App will draw on the funds from the linked bank account or card.

A 3D render of Cash App's logo on a cube
Source: Mariia Shalabaieva

How Safe Is Cash App? Analyzing Cash App's Security Protocols

Like any online platform that deals with sensitive user data, Cash App is not risk-free, but it follows industry standards and employs cutting-edge technology to keep you safe. The notable security measures Cash App uses include:

Data Encryption Whether you're using public or private Wi-Fi or a mobile network, Cash App encrypts any information you submit before sending it securely to its servers.
Fraud Detection Cash App uses the same fraud monitoring infrastructure that secures millions of PoS transactions every day. 
Identity Verification If you want to unlock certain features within the app, such as sending money using your balance, you have to verify your account with your Social Security Number. In case Cash App suspects that an account is violating its Terms of Service, it may request additional verification of personal and financial information.
Card Verification Cash App may verify your added payment card by sending you two small deposits and requiring you to enter their amounts.
Secure Login Whenever you try to log into your account, Cash App will send you a unique login code via email or text, which you must enter to access your account. 
Security Lock You can enable the Security Lock option so that each payment requires your verification. The available methods are passcode, Touch ID, and Face ID.
Payment Alerts You can also switch on email or text alerts to receive a notification after each Cash App payment and detect fraudulent transactions quickly.

Can Someone Use a Stolen Credit Card on Cash App?

As a finance app, Cash App is subject to regulatory scrutiny. It employs many measures, such as encryption and fraud monitoring, to keep the platform and its users' data safe. 

Despite the many security measures, Cash App and its users are targets for various scams designed to extract sensitive information. For example, Cash App has warned users about fake giveaways and surveys, and customer support impersonators.

Another scam that can potentially occur on the site is the accidental payment scam, which can involve stolen credit cards and accounts. In this type of scam, the perpetrator uses a stolen account or card to send an allegedly inadvertent payment to the target and then requests that they send it back. The scammer transfers the returned money to their account, causing the target to lose money if the person whose account or card was misused disputes the charge.

It's unclear if and how easily fraudsters can use stolen card data on Cash App. However, the card verification process, along with other security measures, makes it more difficult to engage in illicit activities on the platform.

While it may not be easy for fraudsters to exploit your credit card on Cash App, that doesn't mean it's impossible, which is why you should take precautionary measures.

A photo of a woman looking at a smartphone

How To Avoid Credit Card Theft and Ensure Safety on Cash App

Whether it's your physical card or card information, you should guard it carefully so nobody can access it without your knowledge and permission. There are many steps you can take to avoid getting your information stolen—from fortifying your accounts to using virtual cards for payments.

Managing Accounts and Devices

You should take advantage of all the options that can make your online accounts or devices more secure, such as:

  • Creating strong and unique passwords
  • Turning on two-factor authentication 
  • Logging out of accounts when you're done using them 
  • Enabling payment verification and transaction alerts for Cash App and your banking app
  • Setting up a PIN, fingerprint scanning, or face identification unlocking on your device

Sharing Personal Information

Scams can be elaborate and convincing, which is why you should always be careful. The perpetrator may pose as a legitimate entity, such as Cash App customer support, and manipulate you into sharing sensitive information. 

You should double-check the sender's message and address before sharing information or clicking on any links. If you're unsure, you can always contact Cash App's customer support using the information provided on the official website.

Reporting Issues

If you lose your card or notice a fraudulent charge, report it to the card issuer and have it canceled immediately. If the charge occurred on Cash App, let customer support know so they can be on the lookout.

Using Virtual Cards

While paying with Cash App is safer than giving away your card information directly, it still has some risks. If you want to shop online without exposing your financial information, consider using virtual cards. These cards substitute your actual card details with random numbers at checkout, so hackers who breach the merchant's database won't be able to access your real payment information.  

If you choose a reliable virtual card provider like Privacy, you'll also get comprehensive customization options and spending controls.

A photo of a laptop, book, and smartphone chained together
Source: Pixabay

Safeguard Your Transactions With Privacy Virtual Cards

By using Privacy Virtual Cards, you're adding a protective layer around your online transactions. You can connect a debit card or bank account to Privacy, generate different virtual cards for your shopping needs, and use them at most places that accept Visa® and Mastercard® cards. 

Privacy offers you two types of virtual cards—learn about them below:

Type How It Works What It's Ideal For
Single-Use Card It closes automatically minutes after you've completed the first purchase, becoming useless to potential hackers who may steal it. Websites you're trying out for the first time and whose trustworthiness you're not sure of
Merchant-Locked Card Enables transactions with only one merchant. If anyone gets hold of the numbers, they won't be able to use them on another website. Merchants you buy from often and subscription services like Amazon Prime, Uber One, and Washington Post

With Privacy Virtual Cards, you can also:

  1. Set spending limits—You can set spending limits on your cards to facilitate more responsible spending or protect from merchants overcharging you.
  2. Pause or close cards—If you want to avoid unexpected charges from a merchant or a subscription service, pause or close your Privacy Card. Privacy will block further charges, and the action won't affect your real bank account or debit card. 

How Privacy Keeps Your Data Safe

Privacy's commitment to customer security and satisfaction is best evidenced by its BBB® accreditation. The company abides by the same stringent security standards as banks and uses top-of-the-line technology. As a Privacy user, your data is protected with measures such as:

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • A robust transaction monitoring system
  • Regular third-party security audits

You can also receive an email or push notification whenever your cards are used or declined, which can help you detect and act on fraudulent charges in a timely manner.

Aside from securing transactions, Privacy can also make them faster with its browser extension. The extension autofills virtual card details at checkout, so you don't have to type in any numbers or look for your card when shopping online. The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Safari for iOS.

A close-up photo of a person typing credit card numbers on a smartphone
Source: Tima Miroshnichenko

How To Sign Up for Privacy

To start using Privacy and shop online worry-free, take the following steps:

  1. Create your Privacy account
  2. Fill out the information needed to verify your identity
  3. Link your bank account or debit card
  4. Request and generate your virtual cards

The Personal plan is free for domestic transactions and comes with 12 virtual cards a month and all the card controls. It also gives you access to the browser extension and mobile app, which lets you create and manage cards on the go from your iOS or Android device.

You can select one of the other two plans, Pro ($10/month) and Premium ($25/month), to unlock up to 60 virtual cards a month and features such as fee-free foreign transactions and priority support.

Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
Sign Up