How To Send Money Anonymously Without Needing a Tech Degree

There may be times you want to send money anonymously or pay for an item without your data being tracked. We’ll review some of the most popular ways to do this and give you the potential benefits and drawbacks of each method.
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There are many reasons why you may want to use anonymous money transfer apps, but you may be curious about each method’s security. In this article, we’ll show you the best apps for sending money anonymously to help you decide which method is best, as well as other ways to improve your anonymity online such as virtual private networks and email masking.

In this article
10 best ways to send money anonymously
Other tips for sending money anonymously
How to use a VPN to make anonymous payments
Why would you want to send anonymous payments?
How to send money anonymously FAQs
Bottom line

10 best ways to send money anonymously

Have you ever had a family member request money through an app you weren’t sure about? Maybe you want to pay for something online and need to use the most secure way to stay anonymous.

You may have seen all the apps for sending and receiving money anonymously, but some may be better than others depending on your personal preferences. Some come with security risks you may want to avoid, while others may have limitations that won’t meet your needs.

We’ve put together 10 of the best ways to send money anonymously, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when the time comes.

1. Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has been all the rage in recent years. It’s a digital currency system that uses cryptographic techniques like blockchain to make it possible for people to buy, sell, or trade securely without involving a financial institution.

Some people like using this method because it removes the need for a central authority, like the U.S. Federal Reserve, which issues and maintains a country’s currency. This method of payment has risks, though. As of yet, there are no legal protections when you pay via cryptocurrency. If something goes wrong, you have no legal grounds for a refund.

Also, even though people may consider it anonymous, bitcoin and other crypto transactions may get recorded publicly, including information like your wallet address and the payment amount.[1] It may be impossible to hide your phone number or other personal details too.

2. Virtual credit card

A virtual credit card uses disposable card numbers for online transactions without using your actual account numbers. This works by linking your credit card account to the virtual credit card. The downside is that not all banks offer this payment method.

Using a virtual credit card can be more secure than making payments with a physical card. If it gets compromised, it may be deactivated before the hacker can use it. These cards aren’t valid anymore after one transaction. If your virtual credit card has unauthorized charges, you won’t have to close your bank account and replace the card. Also, you’ll only be responsible for $50 (or less) in fraudulent charges due to the Fair Credit Billing Act.

3. Gift card

A prepaid gift card is an anonymous way to shop, and you can use it securely in many locations and online. But there are some things to watch out for. For instance, scammers love to trick people into buying gift cards because there are fewer protections for buyers on them. Gift cards can be a way for scammers to get fast cash.

If someone requests that you put money on a gift card like iTunes or Google Play and then give them the numbers on the card to make a payment, that could be a gift card scam. If you’re shopping online and someone requests you use a gift card to pay, you may want to shop elsewhere.

4. Prepaid debit card

Prepaid debit cards can be a convenient way to pay anonymously, but that depends on the company supplying the card. Some issuers require personal information, like your name, address, and Social Security number, for security purposes.

Most of these cards are protected by the issuers, such as Visa and MasterCard, so you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges. These are considered secure cards, but scammers have been known to request prepaid debit cards as payment, so always use them with caution.

5. Cash

Cash gives you the freedom to spend your money and not reveal any personal information when doing so. With cash, there’s nothing to scan, and your real name and account details remain safe. Also, when using cash, you won’t have to mask your email to keep spam away. You only give the merchant the information you want and nothing else.

Cash is certainly a way to remain anonymous when you’re out shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, but it’s useless when shopping online. Some people still send cash in the mail because they think it’s safe, but this isn’t advisable unless you want to be an easy target for theft.

6. Apple Pay

According to Apple, if you use Apple Pay, your card numbers don’t get shared with merchants accepting the payments. Instead, the system uses a device-specific number and a unique transaction code for your purchase, and your card information isn’t stored on your device. It also isn’t stored on Apple servers, making it more secure.

It’s similar to debit cards as it allows for tapping instead of touching buttons, making those of us who carry hand sanitizer happy. If you use Apple Pay in apps or Safari, your card number isn't shared with the merchant, but information necessary to process the payment is shared. That includes your name, billing, shipping address, and email. So your safest bet is to use Apple Pay as an anonymous payment method when shopping in person.

7. PayPal

PayPal is recognized as a secure online payment service. It uses end-to-end encryption and other security measures to keep all your transactions safe. Your data should remain secure when using PayPal, but it isn’t an anonymous way to spend or send money.

When you use PayPal, there are certain account details people can see. If you send money to someone or pay a bill, the receiver sees your name, profile picture, and payment amount. (You can choose not to share your email address.)

8. Venmo

Many people use Venmo as a money transfer app, and if you’re part of that group, you can adjust your privacy settings so that only the recipient sees your information. Even if the recipient has privacy settings set to public and you have yours set to private, the default mode is set to private because it’s the more restrictive of the two. It’s important to note that only you can see your payment method data. The recipient never gets that information.

9. Paysafecard

A Paysafecard is used to pay for online gaming — you can pay for online sports betting, gambling, etc., without entering your private information. If you don’t want to register your Paysafecard, you can use a 16-digit PIN to pay for the games.

Either way, your personal data isn’t used. If you decide to register your card, you’ll use a username and password to access your features. You can find these cards at numerous retail outlets and online. If you’re ready to get one, look no further than your local Dollar General or CVS.

You can use a VPN to protect your privacy while gambling online. Check out our guide on the best VPNs for sports betting and tips for maintaining your privacy and security.

10. Cash App

When you use Cash App, it keeps your details private by encrypting your payment history and bank account information. That makes your transactions anonymous in the sense that unauthorized users won’t see your information.

It’s also possible to use Cash App without showing your name by hiding it in the privacy settings inside the app. Identity verification isn’t mandatory with Cash App, but your limits for sending and receiving money are less with this method.

Is Facebook Pay safe?

Meta Pay (formerly known as Facebook Pay) is as secure as other payment methods due to its anti-fraud technology and card number encryption. You can also set up a PIN or use your device’s face or fingerprint ID to be more secure.

Meta Pay is somewhat anonymous since only you can see your payment and transaction history, but Meta does collect your order information and can use that information to provide relevant content to you. In that way, it's not anonymous.

Other tips for sending money anonymously

You can see that sending money “anonymously” may not always mean the same thing for every person. For instance, you may want to send money without others seeing your name. In other cases, you’re less concerned with that and more concerned with unauthorized people seeing your banking information.

Whatever your case may be, here are some other tips for sending money anonymously.

  • Mask your email: When you mask your email, it hides your email address and other data. In essence, you can make a purchase or a transaction and the recipient won’t get your email address to spam you.
  • Use a VPN: If you use a VPN app like NordVPN, it keeps your private information safe from third parties. It also encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address to make your online browsing private. Only use VPNs with verified no-logs policies to keep your online activity more secure.
  • Use banking apps: If you use an app like Zelle, you can send and receive money from people you trust. With Zelle, you only need to share your email address or phone number linked to the account you wish to use. It won’t make you share any other personally identifiable information and goes directly through your bank or credit union app.

How to use a VPN to make anonymous payments

When you want to use a VPN to make anonymous payments, the steps are simple. It only takes a few minutes, and you’ll be able to securely make transactions without fear of unauthorized access to your data. For this example, we’ll again use NordVPN.

  1. Open your NordVPN app.
  2. View the list of countries and server locations until you find one you want to use. We recommend Switzerland, Panama, or the British Virgin Islands for their commitment to privacy.
  3. Click on the location, and you’ll get connected to that country. Now your IP address looks like you’re located in the city or country where the VPN server is located.

You can pay for your VPN subscription anonymously as well with methods like CoinPayments. We cover all you need to know in our guide on how to pay for a VPN anonymously.

The best VPNs for anonymous payments

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs we can recommend for anonymous payments, but it's not the only option. Here's a list of privacy-forward VPNs for you to consider:

  • NordVPN: NordVPN offers the gold standard due to its privacy-friendly headquarters in Panama, audited no-logs policy, and countless security features. It offers double VPN servers, an ad and tracker blocker, and more. 

    Get NordVPN | Read Our NordVPN Review

  • Surfshark: We love Surfshark for its unlimited devices allowance, but it's got lots of privacy tools to offer. Similar to Nord, Surfshark has double VPN servers and its own ad and tracker blocker to help you remain anonymous online. 

    Get Surfshark | Read Our Surfshark Review

  • CyberGhost: CyberGhost shines with its extensive server network, which includes optimized servers for different uses. The NoSpy servers help facilitate anonymous browsing, block online tracking, and are operated internally. 

    Get CyberGhost | Read Our CyberGhost Review

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  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices

Why would you want to send anonymous payments?

If you wonder why sending anonymous payments is such a big deal, there are many reasons to consider. For example, there can be more at stake than your profile or email address. Here are some reasons to send anonymous payments.

  • Whistleblowers: Whistleblowers can receive a financial reward for information about crimes or criminals, etc., so they can have a lot to lose if their information gets leaked to the public.
  • Secure online shopping: When you use anonymous payments, your online purchases may be more secure because unauthorized users can’t access your information.
  • Prevent monitoring: In some countries, online activity gets monitored by the government or other agencies. When you use anonymous payment methods, that reduces the chances of your data being seen by others.

How to send money anonymously FAQs


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Is Paysafecard safe?

Using a Paysafecard is safe for online gaming. You can use it without registering the card and remain anonymous when paying.


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What’s the safest way to send money?

The safest way to send money depends on who you’re sending it to and where it’s going. Venmo is safe for sending money to friends and family. If you want to go through your bank, an app like Zelle is another secure way to send money. When you’re shopping online, PayPal is yet another secure way to send money for a purchase.


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Is CashApp anonymous?

CashApp is anonymous as far as not sharing your banking information or payment history with others. You can also hide your identity on the app to make it even more safe.


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Can I send money anonymously through Venmo?

You cannot send money anonymously through Venmo because the person you send it to can see your name.


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Can you use PayPal anonymously?

When you use PayPal to send money, the recipient sees your name and profile picture assigned to your PayPal account. They can also see your email address, so we don’t consider PayPal a truly anonymous payment method.


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Is Western Union anonymous?

When you use Western Union to send money, you must complete a Send Money form that provides the agent with your information. You’re also required to show valid identification, so it’s not what you’d call an anonymous transaction.

Bottom line

We’ve covered the most effective ways to send money online and remain anonymous. As we mentioned, being anonymous doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone. You may want to keep your information private from the recipient, while others are more concerned with data protection and making sure unauthorized users can’t access secure or personal data.

When you want to further increase your anonymity and add more security, using a VPN is a good choice. A VPN encrypts your online traffic and keeps your location private from other internet users. The best VPNs for anonymous browsing all include a no-logs policy and a price that won’t break the bank.

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Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer specializing in technology, with three years of experience. With a B.S. in Computer Science and a background as a technical analyst and security specialist, she covers a range of topics like data security and parental control software.

Citations

[1] What To Know About Cryptocurrency and Scams