Avoiding payment app scams

National / World

Payment apps such as Venmo, Zelle and Cash app are convenient but also an opportunity for scammers.

More than 60 percent of adults now use some sort of peer-to-peer payment app that allow users to send money using an email or phone number. 

It’s secure, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to scammers.

Tom Bartholomy with the Better Business Bureau says the most common complaints are from people using the apps to buy and sell items from websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. 

“When you start to use this app and payment method with people, you don’t know you’re opening up a whole other avenue that this wasn’t designed for,” said Bartholomy. 

Another common complaint is from consumers using these apps to buy tickets that turn out to be fake. 

“People go ‘Well I’ll get my money back.’ Well good luck with that. You gave them cash that’s what you did. You gave them access to your checking account. You’re not going to get that money back,” said Bartholomy.  

Payment apps don’t offer fraud or purchase protection, so treat each transaction like you’re handing over cash. 

As with any apps or sites involving your financial information, enable two-step-authentication when possible and never use an unsecured Wi-Fi network. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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