How can you avoid mobile app fraud and payment app scams? Here are a few tips to help you protect your finances when using P2P apps:
1. Only use P2P with people you know
The easiest way to avoid mobile money scams is to limit your P2P payment app usage to friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and people you trust. If you’ve just met someone – or are in contact with a stranger over the phone or email – don’t send them money via mobile payment.
In fact, when paying a friend for the first time, ask them to request the money from your account to ensure you’re paying the right person. Because account usernames can be similar, this will keep you from accidentally paying the wrong account. If using Pay Anyone, a member can request a payment from another member using the Chime app.
2. Recognize common money scams
Scammers use various tactics to encourage you to send them money via mobile app. Never send mobile payments to someone who says:
- You’ve won a prize but need to pay a fee to claim your earnings.
- You owe taxes to the IRS.
- They’re from tech support and need money to fix your computer.
Similarly, be cautious of romance scams where a person creates a fake relationship with you online, then requests money.
If buying a product from an online retailer like eBay, use the platform’s preferred payment method; if the seller insists on P2P payments, abandon the purchase.
3. Don’t give away account credentials
Scammers don’t need you to hit “send” to compromise your mobile payment app. They just need the login credentials.
Never give away login information to anyone – even an app’s tech support team. Chime will never ask you for login credentials like your password.
4. Use built-in security features
Most smartphones and P2P payment apps allow you to enable additional security features, like a PIN or passcode, biometric authentication (thumbprint or facial recognition), or multi-factor authentication.
Enable these robust security features on your account and phone. It is more likely that your accounts will remain protected if your device falls into the wrong hands.
5. Verify unexpected requests from people you know
Scammers can trick you out of money by hacking a friend’s account. If you receive an unexpected request for money from a friend or family member, contact them outside the app to discuss.
If they didn’t send the request, they’ll need to work with the mobile payment app, Federal Trade Commission, and local authorities to report the fraud.
6. Always double-check before clicking “send”
Fraud and scams aren’t the only risk involved with a mobile payment app. Just like with wire transfers and paper checks, it can be more challenging to stop a payment once it’s out of your hands.
Before confirming the money transfer in the app, double-check that you’ve selected the right recipient and dollar amount.