InvestigatorsMatter for Mallory


Woman kicked off Venmo warns other users about keeping a balance

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Posted at 6:00 AM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 07:13:53-04

BALTIMORE — A woman is warning Venmo users about keeping a balance in their accounts after she was suddenly kicked off the platform.

Venmo claims she violated the app’s policies. Susanna Sudek said she only used it to send her family and friends money. And when she told others about what had happened, several shared similar experiences.

Sudek liked using the app for the ease. She could easily pay back friends or send her kids cash.

“The next day after I sent [my daughter] $200, I got an email saying I had suspicious activity on my account,” said Sudek.

Venmo froze her account in March.

“So I called in and they said that I needed to send in proof of who I was and I needed to send in a copy of my driver’s license and then a picture of myself holding my driver’s license, which I did,” Sudek said.

A few days later, she was permanently deactivated. An email stated her actions and activity were in violation of the user agreement.

“I couldn’t understand, I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Sudek.

She kept emailing and calling customer support, but Venmo wouldn't reverse the decision or give her the hundreds of dollars still in her account.

“They took my money. They didn’t give me any explanation they just said your account is deleted and you didn’t follow the rules,” said Sudek.

Sudek then contacted WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii. Sofastaii also asked Venmo for more information on what Sudek did to violate their policies.

“As soon as you stepped in, they came back with answers and said let’s reevaluate this, let’s look further into this and see what happened but they never gave me an explanation,” said Sudek.

Venmo did not share any additional details with WMAR-2 News and declined to comment on this story.

Sudek later received another email. This time, a customer representative confirmed her account was incorrectly deactivated and steps had been taken to complete coaching with the agent she was in communications with.

“I spoke with three different people and all three people kept saying I didn’t follow the rules, I didn’t do what I was supposed to do,” said Sudek.

A month after being kicked off she's now back on the app and her balance restored, but she's warning other users to cash out once any money hits their account.

“Use it, the app works well but don’t leave your money in there because if something you didn’t even do happens, they have all the control, shut your account down and take your money,” said Sudek.

According to the Venmo user agreement, the peer-to-peer payment platform should only be used with people you know and trust.

Personal accounts may not be used to pay or accept money from anyone you don't personally know for goods or services.

Venmo can also hold money in your account for up to 180 days if you've violated their acceptable use policy.

Click here to review Venmo's user agreement.