The growth of Peer-to-peer payments, (P2P), has become the norm for many, allowing people to transfer money using their bank accounts, debit cards, or credit cards through a website or mobile app such as PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle. These can be easy to set up, simple to use, and generally secure, but it’s important to be aware of scams to protect yourself and your accounts.
The American Bankers Association provides 8 tips:
- Don’t send money to someone you don’t know or have never met in person. Be sure to trust the other party who’s receiving your money. If you make a mistake, even one wrong digit, you will send your money to someone else who may not give it back. Just like handing someone cash, your bank can’t get it back for you.
- Don’t share bank verification numbers with anyone, even if the caller ID indicates it’s a familiar company. Keep your information to yourself including usernames, passwords, and account information. If you have any concerns, hang up and contact your bank directly.
- Don’t search Google for customer service phone numbers. Scammers create fake websites with toll-free numbers that connect to them. Only use the number on the back of your card or on your bank statement.
- Don’t let any strangers borrow your phone or persuade you to send money to yourself or to anyone else.
- Do enable multi-factor authentication for all accounts and do not share the verification codes with anyone, including anyone claiming to be the bank.
- Do set up alerts to notify you of any transaction on your account.
- Do ensure that any bank or P2P app you use is updated so it is secure.
- Do be wary of accessing any financial or personal information on public Wi-Fi or mobile hotspots. They often lack security and hackers can capture sensitive personal information on these open servers.
If you are a victim of a P2P payment scam:
· Notify the P2P payment platform
· Contact your bank
· File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).