Don't Become a Victim of Payment App Fraud

Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2023 in Security and Fraud Prevention

United Bank & Trust warns consumers to watch out for common payment app scams!

Peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo, PayPal, CashApp, and Zelle are convenient ways to electronically make payments and transfer money, but they are not without risks. In fact, they’re a frequent target for fraudsters.

In honor of International Fraud Awareness Week, United Bank & Trust wants to make sure consumers know how to use these apps safely and how to spot fraud before becoming victims of it.

Coins, Wallet, Bills, and Phone

“The ease and convenience of payment apps seems fantastic, but it’s crucial to exercise caution,” said Jeremy Bristow, Senior Operations Officer at United Bank & Trust. “Just as we lock our doors at night, we must secure our transactions.”

Signs of Payment App Fraud

Payment apps are an effective tool for cybercriminals because their simplicity allows money to be transferred quickly. However, funds are nearly impossible to recover if they get into the wrong hands.

Here are some common tactics scammers use to commit fraud through payments apps.

  • Impersonating a loved one, a well-known company, or a government agency. Whether it’s by phone, email, or text, if you receive an unsolicited contact from someone asking you to send money through a payment app, ignore it. If you are unsure if the request is legitimate, reach out to the person or company directly using contact info you already have or what’s available online to confirm its legitimacy.
  • Warning you that one of your accounts has been compromised. If you receive unsolicited contact from someone claiming that one of your accounts has been compromised, don’t trust it. Look closely at who is contacting you to see if anything seems suspicious. United Bank & Trust uses Fiserv Card Services to help keep customers’ information safe. Although the call isn’t from a local phone number, the automated call will immediately identify themselves as “United Bank & Trust Card Services.” If you’re still questioning the legitimacy of the call, contact us directly to report the issue. For more information, visit our website.
  • Claiming you’ve won a prize. If you are contacted by someone claiming you won a contest that you don’t remember entering, it’s a scam. Ignore these solicitations. You can’t win a prize for a contest you didn’t enter.
  • Trying to sell you a product or service. If you are contacted by someone wanting to sell you a product or service at an unbelievably low price, do not trust it. You can do a web search to see if anyone else has received such solicitations to verify its legitimacy. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Additionally, it’s important to note that you should never store funds in nonbank payment apps like Venmo or Zelle. Unlike banks, these apps are not protected by FDIC insurance, meaning you are not guaranteed access to your money, especially in instances of fraud.

More Information

If you believe your United Bank & Trust account may have been a victim of payment app fraud, contact us immediately at (641) 753-5900.

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