Thanks to mobile payment apps, sending money has become easier than ever. No more asking how you can split the check for dinner or pay your friends and family when you don’t have cash on hand. But with the added convenience of sending money comes scammers who try to use that to their advantage. Here are easy tips to help you pay it safe:
1. Never share verification codes or passwords.
If you’re having trouble logging in to your account, you may receive a verification code or temporary password through a text message, email, or phone call to help you securely log in. However, these codes should never be shared with anyone. If someone claiming to be from your bank or credit union unexpectedly contacts you and asks you to provide a verification code or password, do not respond.
2. Be cautious of suspicious links and emails.
Avoid clicking links from unknown sources. If you aren’t sure if the communication is legitimate, reach out to your mobile payment app provider through their official website or known phone number. Some common signs that you’ve received fake communication from a scammer include incorrect grammar and spelling, urgent language like “act now” or “your account will be suspended immediately,” or an email address you do not recognize.
3. Verify payment requests.
Before you hit “send,” double-check that you have the correct information to ensure your money goes to the right person. If you receive an unexpected request for money from someone you know, contact the person directly first to ensure the request is legitimately from them. Sending funds with a payment app is equivalent to sending cash. Once you send it, you may not be able to get it back.
4. Avoid allowing remote access to your computer.
Say that you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your financial institution. They are requesting that you share access to your computer to correct a problem they have identified or perform an update. This allows scammers pretending to be from a financial institution to connect to your devices or network remotely as if they were physically using your computer.
Never allow remote access to your device to people reaching out claiming to be from a mobile payment service or financial institution unless initiated by you. If you need to have a problem fixed remotely, contact the company you trust through a verified phone number or website.
5. Regularly monitor your accounts.
Set up Account Alerts so you’re always in the know about changes to your account balance, withdrawals, deposits, and more. If you notice any transactions you don’t recognize, contact your mobile payment app provider immediately to file a report. You can also report mobile payment app scams to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
6. Set up two-factor authentication.
This feature gives you a unique code via text message or email to verify your identity and add extra security to your accounts.
7. Update your device and apps regularly.
Keep your mobile payment apps and mobile devices up to date with the latest software versions. Updates can have essential security features that protect against scammers trying to gain access to your accounts.
8. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks.
Public wireless networks are not secure. That means anyone could possibly see what you are doing on your device while you are connected. Limit your use of public Wi-Fi and avoid logging in to your email or accounts.
By following these tips, you can feel confident knowing how to send or receive money to friends and family – while protecting your accounts.