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  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , credit union, payment app,   

    Payment app fraud may not be covered by your bank 

    Payment app fraud may not be covered by your bank

    By Greg Collier

    As we have seen with the recent incidents of the Zelle scam, banks aren’t exactly rushing forward to reimburse customers who have lost money due to payment app fraud. Many mobile payment apps require their users to connect either a bank account or a debit or credit card to their accounts. This has allowed scammers to drain bank accounts from many of their targets using multiple apps. These apps offer little to no fraud protection, with many of them just pointing to a page on their website that says how to look out for fraud. In a multitude of cases, many banks have refused to reimburse their customers since the fraud was committed on a third-party platform.

    For example, a couple in San Antonio, Texas, got a call from their credit union asking them about suspicious activity on their account. According to the credit union, there were 11 transactions that took place in the United Kingdom which amounted to $4000. Somehow, scammers got a hold of their Cash App information and were stealing money from the couple’s bank account through Cash App. The couple was angry since the credit union is said to normally call them for transactions over $500 but didn’t warn them about these transactions until it was too late. As with many of these stories, the credit union denied the couple a refund until the couple got the local media involved. All of a sudden, the fraudulent transaction was covered under the couple’s fraud protection on their account.

    If you’re a frequent user of payment apps like Cash App, you may want to link a credit card to your account instead of a debit card or bank account. Credit cards offer many more protections than the payment apps do on their own, and you’ll have a much better chance of getting your money back. If you don’t have a credit card, on some payment apps, you can limit the amount of payment that can be made. Payment app users should also do a daily check on their balance, as the sooner you can catch the fraud, the sooner you can do something about it.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , payment app, , , ,   

    Zelle scam keeps making victims out of bank customers 

    By Greg Collier

    Reports are still coming in about the scam that uses the Zelle payment app to drain victims’ bank accounts. In case you’ve missed our previous posts about the scam, scammers are posing as nationwide banks while sending text messages to victims asking them if they’ve made a large purchase. When the victim replies back, they’re then called by the scammers posing as the bank’s fraud department. The scammers tell the victim that someone is fraudulently using their account. The victim is then instructed to make a transfer through Zelle to ‘protect’ their account. Instead, the scammers are directing the money to their own accounts.

    Bank of America has taken the brunt of the criticism in this story, since it seems mostly B of A customers who have been affected. The bank has been seemingly resistant to either issue refunds or recover their customers’ money. Many times they’ve only done so after scam victims have contacted their local media. The scam has become so prevalent across the country that even the New York media is warning consumers about the scam.

    However, it’s not just Bank of America that is seeing their customers get taken for a ride. A number of Chase Bank customers have also reported falling victim to the scam. Recently, an Ohio woman lost $13,000 to the scam, and she was a Chase customer. As of the time of this writing, Chase has not commented on whether or not the woman will be getting her money back.

    The company that runs Zelle is jointly owned by is owned by Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, Navy Federal Credit Union, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, Ally, US Bank, and Wells Fargo. There are other banks that also use Zelle even though they don’t hold ownership in it.

    If your bank uses Zelle and you receive one of these scam texts, do not reply to it. Instead, call your bank’s customer service number from the back of your debit or credit card. That way, you know you’re talking to a legitimate customer service representative. They’ll be able to tell you if there is any real fraudulent activity on your account.

     
  • Geebo 8:01 am on October 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , payment app, , ,   

    Zelle scam victims may be entitled to get their money back 

    Zelle scam victims may be entitled to get their money back

    By Greg Collier

    The Zelle scam has been finding a lot of victims around the country. We originally posted about it here. The scam is largely affecting Bank of America customers, although we’ve also seen it affect Chase customers. In theory, it could affect any bank’s customers whether that bank uses The payment app or not.

    The scam works with the scammers posing as a bank. In this case, Bank of America, mostly. The scammers will text countless people at random. They only need to have a handful of people to fall victim to the scam to make it profitable. The text message will appear to have come from B of A asking if you’ve made a substantially large purchase lately. Within the text, you’ll be asked to reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if you made such a purchase. If someone replies to the text, the text is followed up by a phone call from someone posing as a customer service rep from the bank telling you that someone has accessed your account. The victim will be then instructed to move the money in their account to a ‘safe place’ through Zelle, with the claim that this will keep their money safe. What’s really going on is that you’re transferring your money to a scammer’s account, and they make off with your money.

    For the most part, victims can’t get their money back. Zelle offers no protections for this, and the banks usually tell scam victims that there’s nothing they can do. Sometimes victims do get their money back after speaking with their local media. However, it seems more like the banks are doing this for PR reasons rather than any kind of responsibility to the customer.

    That may be changing, as a little-known federal law known as Regulation E states that banks are supposed to refund customers if the customer is the victim of a fraudulent transaction on their account. That includes when a third party tricks a victim into sharing account information. However, it does not protect the customer if the customer uses Zelle knowingly to buy something online and never receives that purchase. But for this scam, victims should be able to get refunds, theoretically. Whether the banks will try to prevent these refunds remains to be seen.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , lending scam, , payment app, , , , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Don’t let strangers use your phone and more 

    Scam Round Up: Don't let strangers use your phone and more

    By Greg Collier

    We’re closing out the week again with another trio of scams that have popped up around the country.

    ***

    Our first scam comes to us from Charlotte, North Carolina. Residents there have been complaining about a bold scam that takes advantage of your kindness. The scam involves people coming up to you asking to use your phone. The scammers will have some kind of story like hey’re car broke down and can they use your phone to call someone. Once they have your phone, they’ll open up whatever payment app you have on your phone and send all your money to the scammers account. In Charlotte, residents there have said that Venmo was specifically targeted, but this scam could be used on any payment app. The best way to prevent this from happening, outside of letting no one use your phone, is to enable the security features on your accounts. Usually, you can secure your accounts with a PIN or have them require your fingerprint or facial recognition.

    ***

    Speaking of North Carolina, the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina is warning consumers about phony lenders who are really looking to pull off an old scam. In this scam, the lender promise an easy loan, and will deposit a check in your bank account. The scammers will then demand you to buy loan insurance before the check even clears. However, the check never clears as it’s a fake, leaving the victim responsible for the check’s amount to their bank. These phony lenders usually promise you won’t have to undergo a credit check. This should be your red flag, as all legitimate lenders will have you undergo a credit check. Also, no one seeking a loan should respond to unsolicited offers they may receive through text or email.

    ***

    Lastly, the Better Business Bureau of Tulsa is warning their residents about a text messaging scam that threatens to lock their phone. Consumers there have been getting texts that appear to come from their cell phone providers telling them that their phone will be locked if they don’t make a payment. The text also contains a link that should never be clicked on. The link will either inject malware into your phone or it will ask you for your financial information. If you receive one of these texts or one like it, call the customer service number that appears on your bill or on the provider’s website.

    ***

    Please keep in mind that scams like this aren’t confined to the area where they are being reported on in the news. They could just as easily be happening in your area.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , payment app,   

    Victim scammed by fake Cash App website 

    Victim scammed by fake Cash App website

    By Greg Collier

    Cash App has an advantage over its competitors like PayPal and Zelle. A Cash App user doesn’t need to have a bank account linked to their Cash App account. This is a great benefit to many Cash App users who are underserved by banks in their communities. However, that advantage comes at a cost. Cash App doesn’t offer the same protections that a bank might when it comes to scams, and unfortunately, Cash App is probably the most popular mobile payment app used by scammers. One of the more common Cash App scams is the fake customer service number scam. This is where scammers take out ads on popular search engines claiming to be Cash App’s official customer service number, but instead you’re directed to a scammer.

    Something similar recently happened to a woman from Arizona. She used Cash App exclusively and did not have a bank account. She recently purchased a new phone and wasn’t sure how to transfer her Cash App account to her new phone. Just because smartphones are commonplace now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone knows all the ins and outs of them, and purchasing a new phone can be a daunting task for some. The woman and her son looked on the internet for instructions on how to do this and came across a website that looked like an official Cash App site.

    The phony website even listed the correct customer service number for Cash App. However, when they clicked on the phone number, it redirected them to a scam call center. The phony rep asked for her account information and transferred all of her entire paycheck to a bank account controlled by the scammers. Another drawback to Cash App is that once a transfer is made, the account who received the money can block the account that sent the money. Or, in this case, the account that had money stolen from it.

    With payment apps like Cash App, your account isn’t permanently tied to the phone you first started using it on. As long as you haven’t changed your phone number, you should be able to redownload the app to your new phone and enter your login information and everything should be on the new phone.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: payment app, , ,   

    PayPal scam targets the elderly 

    PayPal scam targets the elderly

    By Greg Collier

    Yesterday, we talked about Venmo has been used in various scams, but today is all about Venmo’s big brother, PayPal. For those who may not know, Venmo is owned by PayPal. Anyway, PayPal is also no stranger to scams. Scammers have been fleecing PayPal users before Venmo was even a thing. Historically, PayPal was used as a scamming tool by shady eBay sellers. This was around the time when eBay owned PayPal, but has since spun off the payment app. We’re not saying that PayPal is responsible for the scams, but since PayPal has become so common in internet commerce, it has become a major avenue of scammers.

    A report out of Southern California says that there is a PayPal scam going around targeting elderly users of the platform. Most PayPal users get an email every time they make a purchase using PayPal. PayPal users will be most familiar with the email that comes with the PayPal logo that tells you where you made the purchase and how much the purchase was. A 67-year-old woman from San Diego received one of these emails, but it was for a purchase she didn’t make that was for an exorbitant amount. Legitimate PayPal emails also contain PayPal’s customer service number. This scam email also contained a phone number, but it went to a scam call center instead of PayPal.

    The phony customer service representative asked to log into the woman’s account in order to reverse the charge. The woman was also asked for banking information, since PayPal accounts are required to be linked to a bank account. Thankfully, the woman caught on that this was a scam and did not give up any of her information.

    If you are a PayPal user, and you receive an email that claims you were billed for a purchase you didn’t make, the first thing you should do is log into your account. Then check the transactions to see if the fraudulent purchase is there or not. If it’s not there, you can delete the email and forget about it. If a fraudulent transaction is there, call the customer service number listed on PayPal’s website or the back of your PayPal debit card. Whatever you do, don’t Google for the phone number, as that could lead you to a fraudulent call center. Also, avoid using any phone numbers contained in emails, as they could also direct you to a group of scammers as well.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: accidental deposit, accidental payment, , deposit scam, , payment app, , ,   

    There’s nothing accidental about these payments 

    There's nothing accidental about these payments

    By Greg Collier

    Last week, we posted about a scam that was affecting Venmo users. In that scam, scammers were posing as friends of the Venmo account holder and asking for money. But what do you do if a stranger sends you money that you didn’t ask for and does it through a payment app? The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about an accidental payment scam that’s been affecting users of payment apps like Zelle, Venmo, Cash App and others.

    In what’s being called the accidental payment or accidental deposit scam, the victim receives a substantial payment from someone they don’t know. That payment is then followed up by a message from the person who sent the money, saying they sent that payment accidentally, and could you please send it back? Whatever you do at this point, do not send the money back like you would a regular payment.

    According to the BBB, the money that was sent to you was done using a stolen credit card. If you send the money back like a regular payment, you’ll be responsible for that money once it’s discovered the credit card is stolen.

    Instead, you should tell the sender to cancel the payment, which can be done on most of the popular payment apps. If they refuse or try to pressure you into sending it back, it’s more than likely a scam. Also, don’t spend the money that you receive from the scammer, or you’ll be held liable for that money.

    While many of the scammers are finding their victims randomly, others are finding them through social media. In order to prevent receiving phony payments like this, it’s best to keep your account names off of social media. While you may think it’s just a quick post between friends, it can be picked up quickly by scam artists.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , payment app, ,   

    Your Venmo friend may not be your friend 

    Your Venmo friend may not be your friend

    By Greg Collier

    Payment and wallet apps like Venmo have been a great convenience for consumers. They can allow you to make payments to friends or make purchases without having to carry cash or a card that could be easily lost. As a modern society, we seem to be more protective of our phones than our methods of payment. However, we also sometimes seem to forego security over convenience, which has led to a number of these apps being used in scams. Venmo is not a stranger to these scams, but a new scam has emerged which may have Venmo looking at one of its features.

    In our opinion, the major drawback to using Venmo is that by default, your purchases and transactions are available on a public feed. That means anyone who knows your Venmo username can see who you’ve paid and where you’ve shopped. Scammers are well aware of this and are now creating Venmo accounts that look exactly like one of your friends’ accounts. The scammers will then contact their targets asking for money, and once that money leaves your Venmo account, it’s almost impossible to retrieve. Why this public feed is considered a feature on Venmo is beyond us.

    There are steps you can take to make your Venmo account more secure. The first thing you should do is make all your transactions private, which you can find the instructions for here. The second thing you can do is verify with your friends if they’re the ones actually asking you for money. That may require an awkward conversation depending on the situation, but that’s better than losing your money. You should only use apps like Venmo with people you know and verified merchants. Anybody else could be a security threat. Enable two-factor authentication to keep opportunists out of your account if they become in possession of your phone. Lastly, if you have the ability to do so, link a credit card to your account, as it will give you more protection than these apps offer on their own.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , payment app, ,   

    Bank scammer has answer for everything 

    By Greg Collier

    Payment apps like Zelle, Venmo, and Cash App are incredibly convenient. They allow us to send money to family and friends without the need for writing checks or money orders. However, what we get in convenience, we sometimes lose in security. Scammers are experts in taking advantage of the flaws in security that some of these apps have. With just a little social engineering, scammers have been known to rake in the cash by emptying the accounts of victims while the victim does most of the work for them. Not to mention that these scammers are so well practiced, they have an answer for just about everything when you try to ask questions about what they’re telling you.

    A woman from Tennessee almost feel for one of these well-crafted scams that involved her bank. She received a text that appeared to come from her bank. The text message asked if she had just made a purchase for $3500. This was followed up by a phone call from someone claiming to be a bank representative. The woman questioned if this call was actually from her bank, and the caller replied that she can verify the call by matching the phone number that called her with the customer service number of the back of her card. Of course, these number can and have been spoofed. She still wasn’t satisfied with the caller’s answer and told the caller she was going to hang up and call customer service. The caller then said that if she called customer service, she would be on hold for a long time and that he was there to help her with the problem now.

    This is where the payment app comes into play. The caller told the woman that she needed to send herself $3500 through Zelle to reverse the supposed charge. She then received an email with her Zelle activation code., The report of the incident doesn’t state it, but it most of these cases, the caller will then ask for the activation code, so they can hijack your Zelle account. Since most Zelle accounts are linked to bank accounts, this could have disastrous effects.

    Thankfully, the woman decided to go to a local branch of her bank before she sent any money.

    If you receive one of these calls purporting to be from your bank, politely end the call. First, you should check your bank statement online or through the bank’s app to see if any fraudulent charges have been made. Even if no fraudulent charges appear, call your bank’s customer service number from the back of your debit or credit card. Don’t do a web search for the customer service number, as these can often be scams themselves. But speak with the bank to make sure your account has not been misused. However, the best thing you can do is what this woman did and go to your bank’s local branch. They’ll be able to verify any fraudulent activity on your account in person.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on February 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , payment app, , ,   

    Payment app scam preys on your kindness 

    Payment app scam preys on your kindness

    Most of us have some form of banking or payment app on our phones. Whether they’re through our local bank or one of the many mobile payment services available, a lot of us make payments or transactions through these platforms. But how many of us really have these apps secured on our devices? You may have your phone locked using a PIN or fingerprint check, but what if someone was able to bypass your phone lock?

    A woman in Charlotte, North Carolina recently found out the hard way what happens if you don’t secure your apps. She was working at home when a man knocked on her door and asked if he could use her phone. He claimed he had locked his possessions in his car and needed to text a relative. Being a kind person, she allowed the man to use her phone to get help. After using the phone, the man handed the phone back to the woman. That’s when she noticed the emails from Venmo. In that short amount of time, the man is said to have sent close to $1000 to himself through Venmo. The problem with many of these apps like Venmo is that once payment goes through, the victim of a scam can be blocked by the scammer making retrieval of your money almost impossible.

    If you’re the type of person who tends to be a good Samaritan you should be commended for being willing to help others that you may not even know. There is still a way for you to lend someone your phone without exposing your financial apps. Most financial apps have some form of two-factor authentication available to you. A PIN or biometric scan like a fingerprint or face unlock can be enabled. This means that even if your phone is unlocked for someone to use, your financial apps will still be secure. If they don’t offer this service, you may want to consider using an app that does. While you may think that enacting these measures may make it more inconvenient for you, in a short time you’ll hardly even notice the small amount of extra time it takes you.

     
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