Venmo Hacking Thieves Steal $thousands from Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel

1 year ago
Venmo Hacking Thieves Steal $thousands from Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel
26 Nov

Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel have both had their Venmo online payment accounts hacked, with KidPoker seeing $15,000 robbed from him, and the thief trying to spend another $43 of DNegs money on an Uber ride!

Negreanu’s loss came just hours after fellow highstakes legend Erik Seidel posted a similar story, though it’s not clear if or how much money the hacker got away with in Seidel’s case…

Both hacks were of the poker stars’ Venmo accounts, a PayPal-owned company that offers customers a peer-to-peer digital wallet, primarily used for paying day-to-day expenses but also as a quick-and-easy way to send funds to friends and family.

For poker pros such as Negreanu and Seidel, those expenses and transactions are likely to be generally much larger than most users, but it is not considered to be the safest place to store large sums of money.

Internet security specialists Norton wrote about it last year:

‘Hackers have discovered that they can use Venmo to trick users into providing their bank account information or Social Security numbers. Scammers have also used Venmo to make fraudulent purchases, leaving sellers without the product they were selling or any of the dollars they thought they were making from the sale.’

It’s not quite clear how Negreanu’s money disappeared, but if hackers accessed his account they could easily have just sent DNegs funds to a fake Venmo account of their own, and withdrawn to any linked bank credit or debit card.

Investopedia describe that hackers have been able to circumvent the encryption technology, explaining:

‘After gaining access to a user’s account, hackers can easily transfer a user’s Venmo balance to a new bank account. And by changing the user’s linked email address, hackers can reroute a user’s transaction notifications, leaving them in the dark until the bank finally notifies them of balance changes, long after thefts occur. Stories of Venmo users losing up to $3,000 have been reported.’ 

The Negreanu and Seidel hacks are far from the first time that poker players have been targeted.

 Just a couple of months ago, Kevin McPhee had his GGPoker account allegedly hacked while he was actually playing

It was reported that McPhee suspected someone for the hack but couldn’t prove it, and a Canadian poker player’s name was ‘allegedly connected to the e-mail used to withdraw McPhee’s funds.’

In 2017, several high-profile poker pros were hit by a number of hacks, with Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, Dan Smith and Cate Hall among those targeted.

Former PokerStars pro Rousso was hacked and swatted, all-time leading female moneywinner Selbst saw her gmail and Dropbox accounts compromised, former GPI player of the year Hall’s Twitter and Facebook were targeted while highstakes specialist Dan Smith had concerns about Western Union payments

Poker has even seen inside jobs when it comes to hacking and theft, with one of the most infamous cases involving Peter Jepsen, who installed software on fellow pros’ computers that apparently allowed him continuous access to their holecards for years.

Jepsen was jailed for 4 years in 2019 after the six-year-long scam was finally investigated, the highstakes Danish pro receiving a €3.5 million fine to go with the jail term.

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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