Do you use Venmo? It's a very simple app we've talked about before that lets you send cash to your friends and family. It's good for splitting checks at restaurants, sending cash to your kids or grandkids, paying back your buddies if they spot you some money; those types of things.
Here's how it works. You get the app, link it to your bank account and you're all set to transact with anyone else who has the app. If you link Venmo to a debit card (as long as it's from a major bank), your transactions don't come with any fees. The money will go through typically in one business day. We've warned you about Venmo's security issues and scams, but it's still one of the easiest ways to send money.
If you do use Venmo, you know that you type a quick message with each transaction labeling what the money is for. "Drinks Friday night," or "My half of October rent" for example. A lot of people use this text to make jokes like "year's worth of fingernail clippings" or "penguin jerky." Transactions are set to Public by default, so anybody can see the jokes and get a laugh if they want.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC,) however, is not laughing at some Venmo jokes. OFAC is responsible for preventing Americans from supporting enemies of the U.S. overseas. If you try to send money to ISIS or Al-Qaeda or other organizations or countries under sanctions, OFAC is there to stop the transaction. You better believe that they're keeping an eye on Venmo, PayPal and other popular digital money sending services.