Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services make it easy for you to send and receive money digitally between friends and family. These services can be used for anything from splitting a dinner bill among friends to paying back your cousin for concert tickets.
While P2P services are very convenient, it is important for you to follow good security practices when using them to help keep your money safe. When you send someone money using a P2P service, the money is transferred from your account immediately, and the transaction is usually irreversible, making these services ideal payment mechanisms for fraudsters.
Here are some examples of P2P scams:
- A fraudster may place a false online ad for merchandise, and after you pay for the merchandise through a P2P payment service, the fraudster keeps the money and never actually sends you what you purchased.
- You receive a text message regarding a recent charge on your Bethpage debit card, and it asks you to verify the transaction. You reply that you don’t recognize the charge in question. You then receive a phone call from what appears to be Bethpage’s 800 number, and someone claiming to be a Bethpage employee requests you verify your account information, including your online credentials and a texted verification code. If you provide the information, the fraudster will then use it to log in to your account and use the linked P2P payment service feature to transfer funds.
- You are hired for a job and receive a fraudulent check from the 'employer'. You are told by the “employer” to deposit the funds using mobile check deposit, and to transfer the funds out using a P2P payment service. By the time the check bounces, the funds are already gone.
When you use a P2P payment service, follow these tips to keep your money safe:
- Only send money to, and receive money from, people you know and trust.
When you use a P2P payment service to send money, the transactions are instantaneous, and most are irreversible, so it’s important to make sure you know and trust who you are sending the money to. If you use a P2P service to receive money from someone you don’t know personally — maybe as payment for tickets to a game, for example — make sure the money is in your account before you send the tickets.
- Do not share your personal or financial information with anyone unless you initiated the contact and know that the contact is legitimate.
- Opt in for notification of every transaction on your account.
Some platforms send automatic alerts of a transaction. If the service you use does not, adjust your settings to enable emails or texts whenever there is a transaction on your account.
- Opt in for extra layers of access security, such as PINs and multi-factor authentication.
Check your account settings to see if you can enable additional available security features, such as multi-factor authentication or requiring a PIN, that are not already activated to help ensure that you are the only one who can access your account.
- Make sure the recipient’s contact information is correct.
If you mistype a recipient’s email address, phone number or name, the money you send could go to the wrong person. Double-check the accuracy of your recipient’s information before you send a payment.
- Keep your app updated.
Make sure the P2P app you use is the latest version, so it has the most up-to-date protection and security features.
- Stay alert to payment scams. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you shared your personal information, like your online banking credentials, with a contact you suspect may not be legitimate, please call us at 800-628-7070. We are here to help, and we will work to recover any lost funds when it is possible. However, you are responsible for any losses from payments that you authorized.