Mobile payment apps can be a convenient way to send and receive money with your smartphone. These apps have become very popular — and scammers may try to use them to steal your money. Find out how mobile payment apps work and how to avoid sending money to a scammer.
You may have heard of mobile payment apps like Venmo, Cash App, or PayPal that let you send and receive money through your smartphone (or online). If you haven't used one before, here's how they work.
First, you download the mobile payment app, and create an account. You’ll have to choose a payment method or source of funds, like a bank account, a debit card, or a credit card.
Once you set up the account, you can send and receive money. When someone sends you money, the money doesn't go directly to your bank account. It gets added to your balance in the app. You can leave the money there to use later or transfer it to your bank account.
Some scammers may try to trick you into sending them money through a mobile payment app. That’s because they know once you do, it’s hard for you to get your money back.
Keep this advice in mind if you send money through a mobile payment app:
If you find unauthorized payments or think you paid a scammer, here’s how to report it to the mobile payment app.
If you paid a scammer with a mobile payment app, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. When you report a scam, you help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies stop scams.