Scams are on the rise, and they’re not all the typical computer and phone hack scams of the past. Scammers are hacking into people’s emotions and manipulating them into sending money. Often these scams are completed through peer-to-peer payment platforms, like Venmo, PayPal, or Zelle. These payment platforms are fast, popular, and accessible, making them convenient for many people. Unfortunately, these features also make peer-to-peer payment platforms an ideal target for scammers. Recognizing red flags can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Below are three tips to help you use these platforms safely.
Transactions are not reversible:
Through our True Mobile Banking App, Monona Bank clients automatically have access to Zelle and can send and request money between almost any bank account in the United States. Transactions are typically completed within minutes, as long as the recipient is already enrolled with Zelle. However, transactions cannot be reversed and should be considered cash payments: once you send the money, it cannot be retrieved.
False sense of urgency:
Scammers rely on creating a false sense of urgency, often preying on their victims’ emotions. If you’re being pressured into sending money or giving out personal information, stop and take a step back. Are you confident that you know who you are communicating with? Why is the situation so urgent? Asking these questions can help you slow down and think critically about the situation before you send any money.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is:
“Get rich quick” schemes are a common way scammers approach their victims. Scammers will often promise large profits and a high success rate without requiring previous experience or hard work. All you have to do is pay a fee upfront to get started. Situations like this that seem too good to be true are usually scams. Frequently people will pay the scammer the initial start-up fee and then will be out that money as they weren't really communicating with a legitimate business. When approached online or solicited to send money via peer-to-peer payments platforms, make sure to take a second look at what you're getting into. It might just be a scam.
And remember, if you’re ever feeling unsure about a transaction, we’re always here to help. Our tellers and Banking Advisors stay up to date on the latest scams to help protect you and your money. If you have questions, don't hesitate to call or stop by to have a conversation.