Using mobile payment apps like CashApp, Venmo, or Zelle can be a convenient way to get quick cash to your family and friends. But remember the first rule of sending money, whether you’re using an app or money wiring service: Be sure you know who’s on the receiving end. Otherwise, you might lose the money you sent — and then some.
If you haven't used one before, here's how they work. To use a mobile payment app, you’ll have to create an account. You may have to link your mobile payment account to your bank account or credit card. Security Tip: Check if you can turn on additional security features on your account. You may want to use multi-factor authentication, create a PIN, or use fingerprint recognition.
Once you set up the account, you may be able to use the app to make payments at some stores.
You can also send money to people you know — just make sure you're sending money to the right person. Double-check their email address, phone number or username. And people can use the app to pay you. When someone sends you a payment, the money doesn't go to your bank account. Instead, it will appear in your app's account balance. You can then decide what to do with the money. You can:
For years, scammers have been making up all kinds of stories to trick people into sending them money. They may lie to you and say:
Scammers want you to pay in a way that’s quick and makes it hard for you to get your money back. That's why they'll tell you to wire money or pay them with reload cards or gift cards.
Scammers may also tell you to send money through a mobile payment app. If you get an unexpected email or text message that asks you to send money, don't click on any links. Log in to the app to see if you have any requests for money. If you don't, the email or text is probably a phishing scam.
If you sent money to a scammer, report the scam to the mobile payment app. WKFCU will refer you to the mobile payment app to dispute the transaction. Then, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. When you report a scam, the FTC can use the information to build cases against scammers.
(Reprinted from articles at consumer.ftc.gov/blog)
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