Attorney general's office warns of payment apps (P2P apps) and scams

Within the last thirty days, the Michigan Department of Attorney General has received numerous complaints of scams involving payment apps such as: Zelle, Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal.

Many consumers use these payment apps to easily and conveniently pay others. Unfortunately, scammers have adapted their tactics to take advantage of the quick, and often anonymous, access to cash that they provide.

Residents should look out for:

• Scammers impersonating your bank may call to alert you about “suspicious activity” on your account

• Fraudsters may reach out claiming to represent a fraud department or merchant and ask you to confirm information such as your bank account username and password

• Fraudsters may try to convince you that you’ve been paid more than you were owed.

P2P apps are not federally insured, regulated, or supervised, even if they partner with an FDIC-insured bank.

To protect themselves, residents should:

• Review the app’s fraud protection policies and understand whether and how you can recover funds if a problem arises.

• When sending money using a P2P app, the payments and transfers are instant and mostly irreversible. Link your money transfer app to a credit card rather than a debit card or your bank account.

For those who think they are a victim of a scam involving peer-to-peer payment apps, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#. For concerns about P2P services, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at https://www.consumerfinance.gov.

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