PSA: Stop Using Venmo To Pay For Drugs, It's A Really Stupid Idea

Whatever you do, kids, don't do drugs.

And if you plan on doing them, don't leave an electronic trail that leads straight back to you.

Drug dealers and customers alike are reportedly "fretting" since last week's arrest of Columbia University student Michael Getzler, class of 2017, on what the Columbia Spectator reports were five drug-related charges.

Getzler, who's also suspected of having written an anonymous piece about giving up dealing published just days before his arrest, had allegedly been using digital payment app Venmo to collect money for marijuana and other illegal substances.

Venmo, convenient for reimbursing a friend for dinner or paying a roommate your share of the electric bill, is a public record of money exchanged with your name attached.

While Getzler awaits his April 27 court appearance, Quartz reports some of his transactions are still visible to the public eye.

The 273 payment names, many of which are now hidden, were labeled things like "Gotta stock up for winter," "Snoop Dogg's shizzle," "To puff a butterfly" and "Kale salad."

In short: Don't assume what you're doing digitally won't come out in a courtroom.

Your Venmo may seem private, but the payment service retains the right to share your information with "law enforcement, government officials, or other third parties."

If you're using Venmo for anything you wouldn't be comfortable sharing publicly, think again.


Citations: Columbia Students Think Paying For Drugs With Venmo Is Good Idea (Gothamist)