Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment applications have become so popular that they have become common verbs in our society when we talk about payments. P2P makes it easy to send money to other people just by searching for their phone number, email address or username. Although P2P payment services are easy to set up, easy to use, and generally safe, it is important to note that criminals may try to scam you into sending money.
Scammers impersonating your bank may call you to alert you of “suspicious activity” on your account and ask you to send money to yourself or a “bank address” to reverse a transaction or verify that the account is not frozen. However, your bank will not tell you to send money to anyone, not even yourself. Criminals try to make you believe that you are sending money to yourself, when in fact you are sending money to the impostor.
Scammers claiming to represent the fraud department or a merchant may contact you and ask you to confirm information such as your bank account username and password, your credit or debit card details, or your numbers. of Social Security. But don’t share this information: scammers want to create a P2P account using your information, steal your identity, and gain access to your accounts.
A scammer “accidentally” sends you money through a P2P service and asks you to pay them. Do not return the money and instead contact the P2P service about the error. Criminal accounts often use stolen funds that the P2P payment service will eventually flag as fraud. If you return the money to the scammer, the P2P service may withdraw the funds from your account or hold you liable.
How to protect yourself…
Only use P2P apps to send money to friends, family, and other people you know and trust.
Don’t use P2P apps to send money to people or companies you don’t know.
Don’t fall into forced urgency.
Don’t let anyone you don’t know borrow your phone.
Only call your bank using the number on the back of your card or your bank statement and not online phone numbers, as these can be fake.
Set alerts to notify you of any transactions in your account.
Make sure your bank or P2P app you are using is updated to the latest version.
Look at the phone number you received from the text message. If the number is a full 10-digit phone number, then it’s a scam. Most banking institutions will simply text you a 5-digit short code and never include a link.
Be careful when using banking or P2P apps on mobile hotspots or public Wi-Fi.