The popularity of mobile payment apps has grown exponentially in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to statistics, more than 2 billion people around the world use apps like Venmo, Zelle® and Apple Pay to send money to family and friends.
The process is simple! After downloading a mobile payment app on your smartphone, you create an account and link your source of funds to send and receive money.
Online payment systems are fast, convenient and contactless but it’s important to only send money to people you know and trust. To avoid falling victim to fraud, consider these tips to stay safe while using peer-to-peer mobile payment apps.
Act with Caution to Avoid Scams
Unfortunately, fraudsters may attempt to trick you into sending them money through a mobile payment app. Someone might pretend to be a family member in trouble or claim you won a prize but need to send money to cover fees. To prevent this from happening to you:
- Always confirm that you know the person requesting money.
- Do not click on suspicious links or provide personal information to unknown senders.
- Verify you have correctly entered the recipient’s information before hitting send.
- Set up payment notifications, so you know immediately if you have been hacked.
Protect Accounts with Multi-Factor Authentication
In addition to entering your password, have the mobile payment app text you a verification code, request your fingerprint or use face ID. Do not share your credentials with anyone and set up notifications to be alerted of login attempts from unknown devices.
Keep Your Apps and Phone Updated
Scammers often take advantage of network and software vulnerabilities. Enable automatic updates for your mobile payment apps, so bugs and other issues get fixed. Also keep your smartphone’s internet browser and operating system up-to-date.
Regularly Check All Transactions
Do not solely rely on payment notifications from the digital app. When you send money to a scammer, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to get back.
Check your bank account and credit card statements on a regular basis to identify any unauthorized payments. If you notice an unfamiliar withdrawal has been made via your mobile app account, report it to the online payment service and your financial institution. You can also report mobile payment app fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
To learn more about protecting your personal information, visit our online Security Center.