Old scams never die. They are simply repackaged or adapted. A skilled con artist always finds a way to dupe his victims.
Digital wallet apps are just one of today’s commodities. They allow us to store our credit and loyalty cards, make payments, get rewards and transfer or receive money. While going cashless might have its perks, scammers are leveraging the popularity of digital wallets in a new scheme.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently warned consumers about a Venmo digital wallet scam, where bad actors are sending you money ‘by accident’. It seems scammers are connecting stolen credit cards to Venmo apps and transferring money to unsuspecting users. Once the transfer is complete, they contact you in the app with a message that sound very believable: “Oops! Can you send that back?”
Transferring money to the wrong account is not unheard of. In this case, however, if you transfer the money back, the perp deletes the stolen credit card from the Venmo account and replaces it with his own. In case of stolen funds, the fraudulent transfer will ultimately be removed from your account, and it’s important to remember that most digital wallet providers do not offer reimbursements should you pay a scammer using their apps.
What can you do?
As the digital landscape expands and we continue to adapt to high-tech trends, staying up-to-date with the latest swindles can be difficult. Nothing is bulletproof, and the online world has become riddled with hoaxes.
Being overly suspicious can sometimes do more harm than good so, to protect yourself against digital wallet scams, turn to your common sense and use your apps with responsibility:
• Use the transfer function to make transactions with your family and friends only. Don’t attempt transactions with individuals you meet online, on forums, chats or dating apps
• Should you receive a money transfer by mistake, ask the individual to cancel the transaction –most scammers will refuse to do this
• Most digital wallet apps allow you to enable additional security features. It’s never a bad idea to add an additional layer of security to your digital wallet such as PIN or multi-factor authentication