Tips to To Stay Safe When using Mobile Peer-To-Peer (P2P) Payment Services

Amid this pandemic, more people than ever before are using peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps. P2P payments are transactions that can be used for anything from splitting a $25 lunch bill between friends to paying rent. These payments allow the transfer of funds between two parties using their individual banking accounts or payment cards through an online or mobile app.

It’s no surprise that as consumer spending patterns change, so do fraud trends. According to the Better Business Bureau Scam TrackerSM (BBB), the latest of these trends is the use of P2P payment apps. Cash App, Zelle, and Venmo are a few among the growing number of mobile payment services used to transfer money using a mobile phone app.

How fraud may look

Most P2P payment fraud occurs in two forms. Either a seller requesting payment through the app or phony customer support requesting information, thus allowing fraudsters to engage in social engineering to collect user information. Reports on the BBB Scam Tracker report that one victim succumbed to scams in which fraudsters invited them to purchase bogus software via an app. In another scam, a user tried to buy concert tickets for $350 and was then instantly blocked. 

How to avoid scams and fraudsters

While P2P payment apps are an extremely useful tool that has allowed cardholders to help and connect with others during this trying time, here are some safety tips:

  • Use money transfer with friends. Protect yourself from scams by only using money transfer apps for their intended purpose -- sending money to people you personally know, and who’ve personally given you their user ID and information.
  • Enable additional security settings. Check your account settings to activate additional security measures. Our favorites are multi-factor authentication, requiring a PIN, or using fingerprint recognition, such as Touch ID.
  • Never disclose personal information. This is just good practice. Never offer personal information, login credentials, complete card numbers, or other sensitive information, even when speaking with a service representative. In fact, no credible service representative would ever ask you for these things. Always ask yourself why someone would ask you for this information. It’s fine to refuse if you feel uneasy. Better safe than sorry.

What to do if you are scammed

If you feel you have been scammed, report the scam to the mobile payment app and ask for the transaction to be reversed right away. Then, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. When you report a scam, the FTC can use the information to build cases against scammers.

If you suspect you have been scammed or sent money to the wrong account, you will need to work with the mobile payment app to refund your money.

(Reprinted from Shazam.net/news/shazam-blog)

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