Planting jokes in the Venmo memo field is by now a time-honored tradition, and even occasionally turns the money transfer service into an improbably good social network. But writer Adam Johnson discovered that some jokes are off limits — like including the phrase "iced coffee obama nsa inside job syria":
Lol, my friend made a goofy note on a venmo payment and venmo contacted him 4 months later asking security questions pic.twitter.com/L28FNPUlwm— Adam Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) October 22, 2015
Venmo told Gizmodo that the word "Syria" was what set off alarms. "As you probably know, Syria is a sanctioned country and we are obligated to follow up when we see payments that are related to a sanctioned country, individual, or entity," a spokesperson said.
This isn't the first time Venmo has taken a special security interest in a payment. Last year, Valleywag reported that the company froze an account after a user mistakenly put "Ahmed" in the memo.