Cyber Safety Tips
- Fake reimbursement scams - A scammer "accidentally" sends you money via a payment app — then requests you send it back
- Imposter scams - Grandparent scams and romance scams — fraudsters requesting that victims pay via a payment app
- Con artist scams - A scammer borrows your phone for emergency to make financial transfers using your payment apps
- Phishing scams - From fake websites to spoofed phone numbers and email addresses, phishing scams are designed to impersonate businesses and people you’re familiar with, fishing for private information such as bank account numbers, passwords, or social security numbers. Learn more about phishing scams
- Hang up on unsolicited requests for account or personal information - Phishing is when a scammer impersonates your bank or other familiar company, sending unsolicited text messages, emails, or phone calls to request or demand your personal or account information. Learn how to spot a phishing scam and stay safe
- Enable multi-factor authentication and account notifications - Whenever possible, use multi-factor authentication to keep your account as secure as possible. This extra layer of protection is a difficult hurdle for hackers. For even more protection, make sure to enable account notifications and alerts for everything from sign-on attempts to transaction notifications.
- Update your passwords regularly - It's a good idea to update your passwords as often as every 3 months, but make sure not to reuse any passwords, even if it's for a different account. Update your passwords immediately if you believe your account has been compromised or accessed by an unauthorized person.
- Start small before sending a large sum of money - When sending a large amount of money using any P2P payment service, such as Zelle® or Venmo, it's always a good idea to send a smaller amount of money as a test, before sending the full amount.
- Keep your app up to date with the most recent security updates - App updates and OS (operating system) updates are designed to keep you and your device safe from hackers. Make sure your device is fully protected by keeping your software up to date.
Best practices when using P2P payment apps
For consumers, peer-to-peer (P2P) payment methods like Zelle® or Venmo can be a convenient way to transfer money to family and friends. But did you know that these types of payments can also be susceptible to fraud? Awareness of scammers’ methods and some general ground rules for using P2P payments wisely will help you avoid becoming a victim of P2P fraud.
What to look out for:
There are 4 main types of scams to be on the lookout for when utilizing P2P payments:
- Social engineering - when a scammer uses manipulative tactics to get you to divulge personal information or login credentials.
- Stolen identity scam - when a criminal uses your personal information to set up a P2P account in your name to make fraudulent transactions.
- Consumer scam - when a seller requests payment through the app, but then never sends the product or provides the service.
- Unknown links & unrecognized text messages - that require you to enter P2P credentials are also important to be on the lookout for as they can lead to your account being compromised.
Six simples ways to avoid fraud on P2P apps:
- Never share any personal information or your P2P login information with anyone.
- Enable security alerts and features like multi-factor authentication or biometric login (fingerprint or facial recognition) on your P2P account and phone.
- Monitor your P2P account and bank account activity regularly and enable alerts for any suspicious activity. You can do this in online banking.
- Only make P2P payments with people that you know and trust, such as friends and family. This means you should only send money to people you’ve personally shared user ID and information with.
- Always create a strong and unique password for your P2P account, and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
- Make sure to keep your app up to date by downloading the most recent software updates.