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There’s been an increase in scams through mobile payment apps such as Cash App, Venmo, Zelle, and more. These apps are still very safe to use, but we want to help protect you.

Here’s some info about these scams and how to protect yourself from being the next victim:

There are several variations of the mobile payment app scam, most of which involve scammers hijacking the victim’s linked checking account or credit card and using it to pay for their own purchases. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic changing people’s attitudes toward money, there is another scam being played out through mobile payment apps.

Social Media Channels

In this trending scam, a payment app user participates in a contest on Twitter or another social media platform. The contest host is giving away a bundle of cash to one lucky winner to help them through COVID-19. After entering the contest, the victim receives a message informing them they’ve won the giveaway, but they need to pay a small fee to verify themselves and receive their cash prize. The victim pays the fee and waits for their big payday. Unfortunately, though, it never lands in their account, and they won’t see the funds they used to pay the “fee” ever again.

Sometimes, the victim has not entered any contests, but receives a message appearing to be sent directly from the payment app informing them they’ve won a cash prize with a small processing fee attached.

The scam can be pulled off through any payment app, but most commonly targets Cash App users. The scam can be executed through several social media platforms, but is most commonly found on Twitter.

If a post or tweet looks suspicious, don’t take any chances; ignore it and move on.

>> If you believe you have fallen victim to a mobile payment app scam, contact the app’s support through the app or website; they may be able to reverse the transaction. You can also report it to the FTC.