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Peer-to-Peer Payment Scams & Fraud

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Peer-to-Peer Payment Scams & Fraud

Peer-to-peer Payment Scams & Fraud -
Ten tips to protect yourself.

Many P2P apps allow you to send money with just a single click or swipe. That speed gives online thieves chances to take advantage of users who aren’t paying attention. In the past, many asked to be paid using gift cards. These days, they’re using many of the same tricks—but asking for payment over P2P apps instead.

Here are some common scenarios to be aware of:

  • Unauthorized electronic fund transfers: If money leaves your account and you weren’t the person to send it, it might be what’s known as an unauthorized electronic fund transfer. This fraud can be the result of a hacked account, a compromised card number or a stolen device. Or it could be that someone accessed your account through a phishing scheme.
  • Seller scams: These scams can take many forms. They may start with offers for tickets, marked-down merchandise or even cute puppies. It could be anything. But they all have one thing in common: The item for sale is unlikely to ever be delivered to your door.
  • Buyer scams: They often start with something you’re trying to sell online and a bogus check to buy it. The scammer will overpay and then ask for a refund of the difference. When the check bounces, you’re on the hook for the amount of the bad check—and the item you were trying to sell might be gone too.

Ten tips to protect yourself:

  1. Know who you’re sending money to: One of the fundamental rules of P2P transactions is to engage only with individuals you know and trust. Never transact with strangers, especially for large sums of money. Stick to established connections to reduce the chances of falling prey to fraudsters.
  2. Use secure platforms: Opt for well-known and reputable P2P payment platforms offering robust security features. These platforms invest heavily in encryption and fraud detection technology to protect sensitive financial information.
  3. Set strong privacy settings: Most P2P apps allow you to control who can see your transactions. Adjust your privacy settings to limit the visibility of your transactions to only your trusted contacts.
  4. Avoid public Wi-Fi: Never conduct P2P transactions over public Wi-Fi networks, as they are unsecure and vulnerable for hackers to compromise. Use secure and private networks to ensure your financial information remains protected.
  5. Enable two-factor authentication: Enabling a second form of verification, such as a text message or email, before allowing access to your P2P account gives you an extra layer of security.
  6. Verify contacts: Always double-check the recipient's username or phone number before sending money. A single typo can lead to sending funds to the wrong person, and getting your money back can be challenging.
  7. Beware of scams: Fraudsters often use social engineering tactics to trick you into sending them money. Be cautious of requests for urgent payments, especially if they come from unfamiliar contacts.
  8. Regularly monitor your account: Keep a close eye on your P2P payment account and regularly review your transaction history to spot any unauthorized or suspicious transactions.
  9. Keep software updated: Ensure that your device's operating system and the P2P app are up to date. Software updates often contain security patches that protect against known vulnerabilities.
  10. Educate yourself: Stay informed about the latest scams and fraud tactics. Knowledge is the best defense against falling victim to evolving threats. If you become a victim of P2P fraud, notify the P2P platform and your financial institution immediately. 


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