Mobile payment apps, such as Venmo and CashApp, allow you to quickly and easily send payments to friends and family. You can split the tab at lunch, buy a present for a mutual friend, or even pay back a loan. Unfortunately, fraudsters are also using these apps to steal money from people.
Here are some ways to protect yourself from mobile payment app scams:
- Don’t send money requested as a “processing fee” or for “verification purposes.”
- Never share your PIN or sign-up code outside of the app you use.
- Fund your payment with a credit card when possible, as it’s usually more difficult to dispute charges with a debit card.
- Don’t send or receive P2P payments from someone you don’t know.
- Use payment services that offer buyer protection, such as PayPal, eBay, or Amazon.
- Create strong, unique passwords and change them regularly.
- Use multi-factor authentication when available and disable your auto-login.
- Don’t use public wi-fi to conduct financial transactions.
- If a post or tweet seems suspicious, don’t click on it.
Beyond anything else, if something seems “too good to be true,” it probably is. While mobile payment apps make transferring money easy, be sure to take the precautions necessary to keep your money and other financial information safe.
If you believe you’ve been a victim of a mobile payment app scam, contact the app’s support through the app or website immediately. If reported early enough, you may be able to reverse the transaction. Additionally, you should report the scam to the FTC at ftc.gov.