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Using mobile payment apps like CashApp, Venmo, or Zelle can be a convenient way to get quick cash to your family and friends. But remember the first rule of sending money, whether you’re using an app or money wiring service: Be sure you know who’s on the receiving end. Otherwise, you might lose the money you sent — and then some.

People have told the FTC they lost money to scammers using mobile payment apps. Some of these thieves pretend to be someone you know asking for money — say, for an emergency. Others say they’re with the app company or your bank. Still other scammers with access to your contacts might trick you into thinking they’re someone you’ve given money to before.

Don’t be afraid to use mobile payment apps — just empower yourself against scammers who also use them. Here are a few tips:

  • Never send money to anyone you don’t recognize.
  • If you get a cash request from someone you do recognize, call or contact them using a number you know to be right. Confirm they made the request before you send money – even if you’ve sent them money through the app before.
  • When you use an app for the first time, it will usually ask permission to access information on your device – like your contacts – to make payments easier. If you’re not comfortable with that, deny access or uninstall the app.
  • Read your bank statements closely and regularly. Ask the app company and your bank to reverse any transactions you didn’t authorize.
  • Find out more about mobile payments and securing your mobile device. And, as always, if you’ve experienced a money transfer scam or other fraud, report it to the FTC.

 

10 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Bob1ole
February 04, 2020
Also, be sure to check your credit card statements carefully. The latest trick is for unscrupulous companies to sign you into a club that will charge you the purchase price every month, even though that was NOT stated in their advertising.
Don't use your…
February 04, 2020
Thanks for the information
Shirley Rooker
February 04, 2020
why can't i find a way to contact the media on this website. i get alerts from the FTC but not one of them has a phone number for media to call and set up an interview with someone from the FTC.
FTC Staff
February 04, 2020

In reply to by Shirley Rooker

You'll find more information about the FTC at www.FTC.gov.

To reach a media contact at the FTC, contact the Office of Public Affairs. The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is responsible for informing the public about the FTC’s diverse law enforcement actions and policy work.

address
February 04, 2020
I experienced one through ebay and paypal via my samsung phone because I did not have a strong pass word. they cangd my samsung money app by turning it n when I had no transfers. Make sure where every u shop to use a strong password. I lost $300 but I was lucky and paypal refunded it. When I say every shopping site I mean EVERY one u use and change it at least once every 6 months. I caught the second time it happened when the theif used my card info for Uber in New York when I just used it in my home city on the west coast. Paypal and my bank caught it. But each time I had to get a new card as well.
slw94c
February 05, 2020
Things are TOO hackable these days.
Hamza998
February 07, 2020
Can FTC meet me directly with those company that we have any complain against company?
FTC Staff
February 12, 2020

In reply to by Hamza998

The FTC staff will not meet with you after you report a problem. The FTC uses the information you report for investigations. The FTC shares the information with other law enforcement agencies that also do investigations. 

You can also report problems to your state Attorney General. This page shows all the state Attorneys General.

Ailed
March 03, 2020
How to report a problem here