Georgina Roberts | Contributing Writer | Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Venmo: The App Millennials Are Using To Buy Drugs

Venmo: The Go-To Money App American Millennials Are Using To Buy Drugs

The Debrief: Welcome to the age of smartphone-friendly dealers - 33% of American millennials surveyed have used the app Venmo to send money for drugs.

Meet Venmo. Think of it as PayPal’s sister, with a dash of Facebook added in the mix. Like its owner PayPal, you can use Venmo to send and receive money to your pals without a fee. It’s quicker than a hassle-filled bank transfer and less awkward than the ‘Oi you owe me money’ text Venmo’s USP is its marriage of the financial with the social. When users send their friends money for last night’s Uber, they can tags them with a (usually jokey) caption. This creates a feed which is similar to Facebook or Twitter. It’s even got the stalker element of social media we all love, as you can easily creep on who your friends/obsessions have been sending money to.

This social element has made Venmo so popular with American millennials that it has become the most popular money payment app with the age group. The app processed a whopping $17.6 billion in payments in 2016. Often perceived as a generation of tech-obsessed, avocado-noshing, ‘snowflakes’, we Millennials get a lot of stick in the media. This time, the digital generation is being labelled as 'lazy' and 'foolish'  for using their fave money-sending app to send and receive money for drugs. This is after LendEDU carried out a survey in June of over 1000 millennial college students using the app, and discovered that 32.6% of them have used Venmo for drug transactions. 

The snag is that the app is definitely not anonymous and everything can be traced back to you. Maybe buying your drugs with a Facebook-connected app which records the exact details of your transactions isn’t the best idea. You’re effectively creating a log of you buying illegal stuff. Whoops. The most popular emojis used in Venmo captions are the pizza slice or the beer and wine glasses. The pill and leaf emoji are also pretty popular… Subtle, guys. No one’s fooled by the pill emoji and 80 dollars you send over every couple of weeks for your weekend coke habit. 

Be careful, my millennial drug-guzzling friends. A website called 'Vicemo' monitors illicit transactions on Venmo’s feed to check who’s selling drugs, sex or other illegal things. When Mashable contacted Venmo for comment about the drug situation, they responded: 'If there is ever a situation where evidence of gambling or other illegal activity is brought to our attention, Venmo works quickly to take appropriate action.' In fact, a Columbia University student dealer was arrested in 2015 for accepting Venmo payments – see the pic of Getzler’s Venmo feed and more coming in from other students.

 

So basically, the moral of the story is just pay for your drugs in cash (or don’t buy them).

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Follow Georgina on Instagram @georgina_roberts

 

Tags: Drugs, Money worries, Columbia