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Easy money, easy target: Peer-to-Peer payments

2/7/2019

American 1 Credit Union tells members to be aware of scammers when using Peer to Peer money transfer apps.

If you’re like more than half of Americans these days, you’re likely using a peer-to-peer payment platform such as Venmo, Zelle, or Cash App to send someone cash with the tap of an app. Easy right? Be on guard scammers are always looking to find a way into your pocketbooks and technology is an easy way to get there! While Paypal can be used as a payment platform for goods and services these peer-to-peer apps should not be.

Here are a couple of ways to protect yourself when using P2P.

  • Check your account settings to see if you can enable additional security.
  • Check social media settings and permissions. You do not want to share information.
  • Read the terms and service if you are unsure what kind of transactions are permitted.
  • Don’t send or receive money from someone you don’t know.
  • Don’t sell items via Facebook or Craigslist through P2P.

Some of the worst scams happen when trying to sell items. The seller hands over the item once Venmo has confirmed the deposit from the buyer or scammer in this case. But shortly after, the buyer can ask Venmo to reverse the charges and the seller is left with no item and no money. In one incident a seller handed over custom sneakers for $13, 550. The scammer reversed the payment before the seller received the funds, losing the shoes and the money.

How do you make P2P work for you and keep the fraudsters away? P2P apps are intended to replace cash and for sending money to individuals you know. The key word here, people you KNOW. An example would be your cousin who purchased those Red Wing’s tickets for the group, or your best friend who put dinner on her card. P2P is relatively easy to use and understand and can be a great way to make payments as long as it is used in the right way.



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