Man loses thousands through Cash App after thief steals phone

CHARLOTTE — A man from North Carolina learned the importance of locking a phone after losing thousands of dollars through Cash App.

Todd Whidbee says he left his phone in a car and someone stole it. They then changed the password so Whidbee couldn’t access it. Once Whidbee was locked out of his own phone and accounts, the thief sent over $2,200 to an unknown account through Cash App.

It’s an important reminder that Cash App is just like cash: once the money is gone, you may not be able to get it back.

With digital banking apps becoming even more common, Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke got answers about how to protect yourself.

Will Cash App reimburse you if someone takes money out of your account?

Cash App’s website reminds users, “You may not be able to recover any funds lost if you allow a third party access to your account.”

How can you better secure your Cash App account?

Cash App has tips including being wary of scams and phishing attempts, using two-factor authentication when logging in, and setting up payment verification.

What should I know about people pretending to be with Cash App?

The company says: “No Cash App service representative will ever ask you to send a payment to any Cash App account. There is never a valid reason to send money to an account claiming to be Cash App or Cash App support. Additionally, scammers claiming to be service representatives from other companies may ask that you send money to another Cash App account. Do not do this -- it is likely a scam.”

How else can I protect my money when using any payment app?

Keep an eye on your phone and make sure you set up a code to unlock it. Keep a close eye on your bank account.

Speaking of digital wallets, what’s the $600 rule for transactions on Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App?

It used to be that if you sold items and customers paid you through money apps more than 200 times for a total of more than $20,000 (in a year), you had to report it using a 1099-K form. Now, if they pay you more than $600 in a year using a payment platform, you have to use the 1099-K form -- that’s a much lower threshold. Make sure each third-party payment platform you received transactions through gives you that form. An important note: you had to pay taxes on the income either way; what’s changed is how you report it.

And to prevent a situation like Whidbee’s, the first step is to make sure you keep an eye on your phone and set up a code to unlock it.

(WATCH BELOW: Action 9 dating service investigation)