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Beware of Payment-App Scams

Sep 14, 2020

Scammers are always on the hunt for new ways to get your money quickly. The faster they get their hands on it, the harder it is for you to get your money back. Mobile payment apps such as Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, PayPal and Apple Pay provide fraudsters with an irresistible target. The best way to avoid mobile payment scams is to only send money to people you know.

Types of mobile payment fraud to watch for:

  • Fake car-wrap offer: A company offers to pay you $250–$350 per week to have your vehicle wrapped with an advertisement. You receive your first payment via check, then you’re asked you to send some of that money to a “specialist” who will apply the banner. They require you to pay through a mobile payment app, via money order or with a cash deposit directly into the specialist’s bank account — payments that can be difficult or impossible to reverse. Remember, never wire money, deposit cash, transfer cryptocurrency or send funds based on the promise of future payments or services.
  • Fake tech support: You run into an issue with a mobile payment app, so you search online for a support number and call it. Someone on the other end says you’ll need to provide your account information so they can help. However, many of these apps have no telephone customer service — the “tech support” person is a scammer. Remember, no legitimate support person will ever ask for your login information. If you need help, go to the app’s website and make sure the URL shows “https” next to a padlock icon.
  • Fake payments: You receive an unexpected payment, then you’re contacted by someone who claims the money was sent “by accident” and they ask you to send the funds back. In reality, the “accidental” payment came via a stolen credit card; meaning, that amount will be deducted from your account (in addition to what you already sent back). Remember, if someone sends you money by “mistake,” it’s probably a scam. Change your PIN and report it.
  • Fake #CashAppFriday rewards: Scammers claim to represent Cash App with fake accounts such as $cshfridayoffical, asking “winners” to send $10 or $20 to claim their $500 prize. They may also offer up to $999 just for installing a few mobile utility apps (hint: it’s malware). Remember, never give up your own money, no matter how legitimate the offer may seem.

If you accidentally send money to a scammer: Report the scam to the mobile payment app (through their secure website) and ask them to reverse the transaction. If the scam involves a wire transfer, checking deposit or anything connected with your Honda FCU account, contact us at 800-634-6632.