Watch out for fraud when using mobile payment apps

Watch out for fraud when using mobile payment apps

TULSA, Okla. — Peer-to-peer payment apps are becoming more popular, perhaps to pay a colleague for lunch, or send money to a friend.

However, one victim, who asked us to call her Wendy to protect her identity, says she is being as careful as possible but has lost hundreds of dollars to a scammer.

“We were rushing to get ready to go on our trip, when I got a call from my bank, at least the number display said it was my bank,” she says. “I was told that someone fraudulently used my Venmo account to hack my bank account. I use Venmo a lot so I answered some of your questions. I’m ashamed to say that scammers used that information to pay themselves $1,500 with a Venmo transfer.”

“A great way for scammers is to try to get you to send them money through Venmo or PayPal or Zelle, because it’s just like writing a check to criminals,” says University of Tulsa professor Tyler Moore, a cybersecurity expert. .

Sometimes these criminals will hack a friend’s account first, and use that information to lure you.

“The hook comes from someone you know because their account has been compromised,” says Moore.

The hacked friend’s information can give your information to scammers, which can lead to fake emails, texts or social media messages, which are used to scam you out of money, sometimes a lot of money.

To protect yourself when using money transfer apps, only use them to pay people you know personally, and only after double-checking with them first.

  • Enable additional security settings, such as multi-factor authentication, PIN number requirement or fingerprint recognition
  • Link the transfer app to a credit card, which provides more fraud protection
  • Check your account after you make a transfer to make sure it went through
  • And make sure you have the right number for the company’s customer service department, in case you need help quickly.
  • Get the number directly from their website, not by searching online.
  • Keep in mind that cyber fraudsters can also spoof this number, which can lead to even more expensive rip-offs
  • Another important reminder, only use these peer-to-peer money apps for personal purposes.
  • Most of the app’s terms of use do not allow commercial use, such as paying for goods or services.
  • If an online business insists on using one of these apps, the Better Business Bureau says it could be a warning sign of a scam.
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