TECH BYTE: How to Avoid Online Payment Scams

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — While they are convenient, there’s always a risk when using payment apps or banking online.

Especially as criminals get creative, and come up with more ways to scam you.

There are ways you can fight back, and keep your personal information safe.

It doesn’t take long to find several Zelle payment app users online, who say they lost thousands of dollars to third party scammers.

The victims thought the fraudsters were representatives from their banks.

“Unfortunately, some of these fraud cases, the general scams going on, they’re becoming more and more prevalent, and they’re becoming more advanced,” said George Wilson, Southern Payroll & Benefits CEO.

Wilson says payment app users need to be smart and extra cautious. You obviously can’t trust everyone.

Wilson says don’t reply to any suspicious e-mails. If someone asks for any bank account or personal information, reach out to the bank directly to see if it’s legit.

“Hey, did you send me an e-mail asking for this? Not to reply to it in case it’s some sort of phishing scam, or anything along those lines,” he said.

It’s worth it to take the extra step to make sure your information is protected.

“There’s a lot of great programs out there who deal with identity theft protection, and restoring your credit and what not,” Wilson said. “I don’t think that’s a bad investment for folks to make. They’re usually fair, relatively inexpensive, and as it becomes more and more prevalent, the need for services like that is going to become greater as well.”

And based on these recent cases, Wilson says mobile payment apps need to step up their security across the board.

“Multiple of our clients every 90 days or so, banks are forcing them to change passwords. So as scammers and hackers get more advanced, we need to just try and get more advanced to keep up with them.”

Two-factor authentication is also recommended to better protect your personal information.

Categories: Local News, Tech Byte, Technology