Peer-to-peer payment apps fraud on the rise
Paying your child’s room mom for treats for the class’ Valentine’s Day party. Reimbursing your friend for half of dinner. Contributing to a wedding shower gift. Peer-to-peer payment apps are a convenient way to transfer money to friends, family and individuals without having to carry cash or write out checks.
Unlike traditional methods of the payment, P2P payments are an electronic transaction that allows individuals to pay another person in real time directly, through an online or mobile app - think Paypal or Venmo - using their banking account or card information.
And, unfortunately, they are also a new way for fraudsters to scam you out of personal financial information. But with awareness and a few tips, using P2P payment options can be as secure as using your debit card.
Money scams are nothing new, but with this new technology, P2P fraud is on the rise. Be vigilant about these common scams:
- 1. Scammers will sell online products or services from random sites. The vender disappears after your payment has been sent via the P2P app.
- 2. Fraudsters call victims and impersonate the fraud department or their Credit Union. The fraudster will try to extract the cardholder’s passcode that is sent to them via text message and use it to take over the victim’s P2P app.
- 3. Fraudsters ask a victim to use their phone, saying their battery died. While pretending to send a text, the stranger accesses the victim’s P2P app to transfer funds from the victim’s account to theirs.
- 4. Skilled hackers can hack into a smartphone via the enabled Bluetooth portal and gain access to any application where the victim’s username and password are automatically stored.
Tips to prevent P2P fraud
- Never transfer money to someone you don’t know. Also look into using P2P services, like Paypal, that offer buyer protection.
- Double-check the username or phone number of the person you are trying to send money to.
- Opt-in for platform security. Popular P2P platforms offer the ability to create a PIN or to use facial recognition.
- Set up account alerts that notify you when transactions have been made.
- Consider linking your credit card in the app, instead of a debit card, so you have more fraud protection.
If you suspect fraud, freeze or lock your card immediately. Contact the P2P app customer service to initiate a dispute. You’ll need to also contact the Credit Union for further instructions about your account.