One of the most popular ways of making purchases online is via peer-to-peer payments. These kinds of payments allow customers to make transfers using debit cards, credit cards and bank accounts through websites or apps such as PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and many others.
Although peer-to-peer payment practices are usually safe and harmless, scams can occur. Scammers have become very convincing over the years.
Anti-money laundering experts from Kyros have compiled a list of the most common scams when it comes to peer-to-peer payments, and they offer some practical advice to Digital Journal readers on how to best protect yourself and your money.
In terms of the most common scam scenarios:
If you ever get alerted by a suspicious activity on your account and are asked to transfer money to yourself or “your bank” in order to verify that the account is not frozen, do not make any payments.
This is one way scammers steal money from your account. They pretend to call from the bank and make you believe that you’re sending money to yourself, while in actuality, you are giving your money directly to the scammer.
Another common tactic used by scammers is to pose as legitimate businesses and when you buy something from them and send them money, you never receive the purchased itemNever to pay for anything in advance, especially if you are not completely sure that the business is legitimate.
Scammers also tend to pretend to work for the fraud department and then they ask you to confirm private information such as your username, password, social security number, and so on. Never give away this kind of information.
There are also situations where scammers tell you that they have sent you some money by accident via peer-to-peer and ask you to send it back to them. In these situations, scammers usually use stolen funds which will be discovered as a fraud eventually, and if you send the money back, you can be held responsible for the fraud.
Never lend your mobile phone to strangers since this is a very popular tactic used by scammers to steal money from your account using your payment apps.
In terms of avoiding such scams, the advice provided by Kyros is:
- Never send money to individuals you don’t know and never let strangers persuade you to send money to anyone, including yourself.
- Never lend your phone to strangers.
- Never share your personal information with anyone who makes contact with you, even if they seem legit. Information such as username, password, social security number, and any other credit card information should be kept private at all times.
- Never use Google to search for your bank’s customer service number, because that can lead you to a scammer’s website. Only use the number provided on your card or bank statement.
- •Make sure to confirm the identity of the person you’re sending money to, in case you don’t know them, and be extremely cautious when entering the recipient’s information.
- Enable a multi-factor authentication to verify your identity.
- Only access financial information via a secure WiFi. Never make transactions while using public WiFi because your account can get hacked more easily.
- Set up notifications for any transactions on your account.
- Keep your P2P app updated.
There are numerous scams to beware of and new ones will emerge as technology develops.