Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, and CashApp make splitting checks, paying rent, and buying from small companies easy. Scammers are getting innovative to acquire money from consumers.
P2P payment applications are less likely than banks to repay fraud, increasing customer risk.
Scammers may use a stolen credit card or cancel a payment after receiving an item on some applications, which take a few days to complete. The victim loses their property and payment. A fraudster may pretend to sell a non-existent item and request money via the app.
Another fraud uses counterfeit communications or stolen credit cards to make someone believe they were overpaid. “Returning” the payment to the fraudster costs good people money. Scammers may even pose as pals and seek cash.
If something goes wrong, BBB advises using a payment app like cash.
BBB’s P2P payment app safety tips:
Pay trusted people: Use these applications with persons you know or can verify outside the payment app.
Credit card: Linking your payment app to a credit card may protect you against scammers.
Check your credit card after payment: Check your associated credit card account after paying to ensure the right amount was handled. It may take several days for app payments to appear in your account.
Protect your account and devices: Use your phone’s settings and the payment app’s settings to enable multi-factor authentication, PINs, fingerprint or face recognition, and more.
Check the recipient’s username and photo before sending money: To verify an unusual request (for a lot of money, for an odd reason, etc.), contact the sender via another channel.
If in doubt, pay differently: If something feels odd, try another way or reconsider the purchase. Small companies often utilize P2P applications, but if a vendor exclusively accepts them, it may be a red sign.