Just got contacted by someone who wants to give you money? You might be on cloud nine. However, if you think deeper, this seems kinda weird, doesn’t it? There are different reasons people might send you money out of nowhere. This includes money mule scams and payment app scams.
Nowadays, scammers are looking for people who can help them in moving stolen money. For this purpose, they use different online dating apps, social media sites, and so much more! They come up with fake stories that seem real and make up different reasons to send you money through check or Bitcoin. They might use other ways as well. Once done, they ask you to send the money to someone else through wire transfers or even gift cards. One thing they never let you get a hint of is that their money is actually soten! You might be a money mule in the entire story.
If you end up helping a scammer move stomen money, even if you were not aware of the fact that the money was stolen, you might get into some serious legal troubles. You will be at financial risk as well. If you end up depositing a scammer’s check it might clear out at first. However, when it turns out to be a fake one, the bank will ask you to repay the entire amount. You might be charged fees as well and the bank might even close your account. Moreover, if you use the money sent by the scammer to purchase gift cards and give PIN codes, or even if you send the money through wire transfer, it is next to impossible to recover the money since it is quickly sent to the scammer.
Avoiding a Money Mule Scam
Here is how you can avoid a money mule scam:
- If you get money from someone you met online due to a dating interest, never forward that money. It is just a way to move stolen money, that’s all.
- Never accept a job that asks you to transfer money or even packages. Do ont trust the person even if you are asked to send the money to a client or a supplier.
- Make sure not to accept a huge prize award and forward some of the money from it. That is another way to help move money.
Over the years, peer-to-peer payment apps have largely grown over the years in popularity. Scaammers now take advantage of such apps. For instance, if you have received money from someone you didn’t know through an app like Venmo, Zelle, or Cashapp, at first you might assume that it was sent accidentally. However, this could be an easy way to scam you and get your money.
How Payment App Scams Work:
A scammer will create a profile on a payment app and will link a credit card number to the account. The number is stolen from someone. Now, the scammer uses the app in order to send payments to other users.
The scammer is then going to message the person through the app saying that the pay
ment was actually sent by mistake and will as to pay the funds back. Here the scammer is going to replace the stolen card on the app with a personal credit card number to which the money will be received. Now, the owner of the stolen card might talk to the payment company to get the money back and in some cases the money is recovery while in most of them the person never gets the money back.
If someone ends up sending you money on a payment app, make sure not to return the payment instructions from the stranger. Instead, ask the sender to cancel the transaction right away. In many cases the sender can get in touch with the app’s customer service to cancel the money transfer request. If the scammer does not agree to do that, contact the app’s customer support and let them know the entire situation. You should also ask them to reverse the transaction.
Make Sure to Protect Your Money
Scammers are always adapting new payment technologies. This is one of the main reasons you need to know all about how to protect your money. For instance, when you are using payment apps, you should consider linking a credit card to your account instead of a debit card. You can actually dispute charges to your credit without losing your personal funds. However, when it comes to debit cards, the money will be deducted from your account automatically. Another thing you should focus on is to not give out your personal information that easily on the internet. This includes when purchasing things online or on your social media accounts. You should also set up a PIN on your payment apps and bank accounts for added security.