Many things about the evolution of technology have revolutionized the meaning of convenience. For example, there’s an app for almost everything you need. We can look at menus before we get to the restaurant, call for a ride wherever we are, or even pay for things with just a tap. However, the more technology advances, the more questions we have, and the more wary we become of sharing our personal information with these apps.
Problem: Banking apps have made paying as easy as holding your phone up to the register, and payment apps have made paying family or friends for goods and services even more convenient. However, payment apps can also be difficult to trust, especially when hackers advance along with technology. If you’re concerned about using payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo, Zelle and Cash App, you’re not alone.
Solution: In general, payment apps are typically safe, but like any other app, they are still susceptible to hackers and other problems. The main problem many face while using these kinds of apps is scammers. Unfortunately, there’s no concrete answer or solution. Each app will invariably tell you how safe it is, but there are always exceptions, and at the end of the day the decision is ultimately yours. However, there are a few scamming techniques to be on the lookout for.
Scammers posing as sellers targeting buyers who purchased something from a stranger they met online. Even if the original business is legit, sometimes communication channels can be compromised and the hacker will pretend to be the seller and have you send them the money instead. Another scam to be aware of is false emails. In this case the scammer will send you an email telling you someone has deposited money into one of your payment apps, then provide a link that will open the app, but instead it will download malware onto your device.
If you’re searching for concert tickets or sporting event tickets of any kind, be cautious of those selling fake or expired tickets and asking for a payment transfer via a P2P app. Some people may be genuine, but it’s always better to be safe than swindled. This is something to be aware of when purchasing anything online.
While there may not be a perfect solution, there are always tactics you and your friends/family can use to ensure you are truly sending money to each other. Communicate with whomever you’re sending money to and verify transfer details. Though it may be tempting, consider only sending money to people you know and trust. Try not to utilize P2P apps on public wifi, as those are more susceptible to hackers.
Whether or not you decide to make the jump to digital transfers, always communicate with whomever you’re sending money to, and make sure to always be alert for scammers and anything that seems out of the ordinary.