Peer-to-Peer (P2P) mobile payment services, such as Venmo, PayPal, Zelle and Cash Apps, have become increasingly popular because of their convenience. It’s fast and easy to transfer and receive money from your linked bank account, debit card or credit card with just a few clicks. Unfortunately, because of its popularity, it has also become popular among fraudsters and peer-to-peer payment services often offer little or no protection against scams. Despite layering security features like multifactor authentication and fraud controls, scams and fraud can still happen. It is a good idea to educate yourself on how to safely use peer-to-peer payment services. Below are a few safeguards to help protect your payments.
- Don’t send money to people you don’t know. If you send money to the wrong person, that money is gone and can be extremely difficult to get it back.
- Don’t give out your passwords, or disclose any personal information.
- Don’t let anyone you don’t know borrow your phone.
- Double-check the username or the phone number of the person you are trying to send money to.
- Don’t pay for a product until you receive it. Peer-to-peer payment fraud is becoming a popular form of payment for puppy scams, romance scams, fake check scams, and marketplace scams. Don’t use peer-to-peer apps for shopping online.
- Make sure your app is updated.
- Set up alerts to notify you of transactions to your account.
- Enable multi-factor security features on the app, like a PIN, fingerprint or facial recognition.
- Don’t access financial information using public wi-fi.
If you are a victim of Peer-to-Peer Fraud, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).