Frontwave Blog

Avoiding P2P Scams

Need to split the check with a friend, reimburse a coworker for coffee, or pay the babysitter? Thanks to peer-to-peer (P2) payment tools like Venmo, Zelle and the “Send Money” widget inside Frontwave online banking, it’s just a few clicks or taps away.

P2P apps are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to cash. They’re convenient, fast, and easy to use. Unfortunately, anytime there’s money involved, there’s also bound to be scammers looking to make a quick buck.

Lured by access to fast, anonymous cash, fraudsters have quickly latched on to P2P, driving up fraud 733% since 2016, according to a recent study. To help protect yourself – and your money – we’ve put together this list of tips for avoiding P2P scams:

  • Watch for red flags. Make sure you’re familiar with today’s top scams and how to avoid them. P2P scammers often use the same playbook, just requesting money via an app instead of a money order or gift card. Also be wary of any business that only accepts P2P payments.

  • Do your research. A recent P2P scam involves fraudsters requesting fake charitable donations. Before donating via a P2P app, research the charity to make sure it’s legitimate and that they accept donations via P2P (check the charity’s website).

  • Link to a credit card when making purchases. Linking your P2P transaction to a credit card instead of your bank account or debit card, if possible, provides added protection in case you don’t receive the goods or services you ordered. 

  • Never send P2P payments to someone you don't know. Don’t accept them from anyone you don’t know, either.

  • Keep your account protected. Use a strong, unique password, and disable automatic logins. Never share your login information with anyone – even a friend or loved one.

  • Don’t provide personal information via phone, text or email. Scammers may try to fool you into giving them access to your P2P account by pretending to be from your bank or the app provider. They may request personal information, like your username and password, or ask you to read back a security code that’s been sent to you in order to “verify your identity.” These are warning signs of a scam. Financial institutions, including Frontwave, will never call, email, or text you to request information like this.

Want more tips on protecting your money and identity?

Check out the full Fraud Watch series, or visit our security page for tips on protecting your Frontwave account.