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Top Tips for Safer Digital Payments

Have you ever used a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment app or platform before? Digital payments make it quick and easy to send and receive money online or through your smartphone, whether you need to split a bill with friends, pitch in for a gift or send money to a family member.

While P2P payment apps and platforms such as Venmo, Cash App or Zelle are generally safe to use among friends and family, it's always important to be cautious when sharing your personal and financial information online. Here are a few reminders to help you stay safe and secure when using P2P payments:

​#1: Verify Before You Pay

Be careful — some payment apps don't allow you to cancel a payment once you send it, even if it's an honest mistake! Plus, not all platforms offer protections to help you get your money back. Before sending money to someone, double-check the details on their profile such as their name, phone number, email address and photo to be sure you have the correct information. Remember, payment apps are for sending money to people you know and trust, not strangers.

#2: Protect Your Passwords

Keeping your P2P payment account secure is your first line of defense against hackers who want to access your money or information. Start by creating a unique password that you don't use for other accounts. If your payment app or platform offers multi-factor authentication (MFA), such as a one-time access code or fingerprint or facial recognition, enable it. This adds an extra layer of security to prevent others from accessing your account. It's also a smart idea to ensure your devices and apps are up-to-date with the latest security updates to keep hackers at bay.

#3: Watch Out for Phishing Scams

Phishing scams occur when fraudsters pretend to be trustworthy sources to access your personal or financial information. For example, you may receive a surprise email, call or text from a P2P company claiming there's a problem with your account and asking you to provide your username and password. Pause before you act, click on suspicious links or open attachments. Instead, contact customer service directly to make sure it's not a scam.

#4: Link a Credit Card, Not a Debit Card

Most payment apps and platforms will give you the option to connect your account to a credit card, debit card or directly to your checking account. The safest option is to use a credit card, which offers greater fraud protection. Even if you can't cancel a payment through the P2P app, you may be able to dispute the charge with your credit card company and prevent an accidental or fraudulent payment.

#5: Monitor Your Accounts Closely

Finally, make sure you're keeping a close eye on all your financial accounts so you can spot unusual transactions right away. Instead of storing a balance within a payment app, transfer it to your checking or savings account to make it easier to track. Then, check your accounts at least once a week to monitor for suspicious activity. You can also set up automatic email and text message alerts or app notifications through Wright-Patt Credit Union's (WPCU) Mobile and Online Banking to help you manage your money.

Ready for More Fraud Prevention Tips?

As always, WPCU is here to help you protect your personal and financial information and avoid becoming a victim of fraud! For even more helpful and timely fraud prevention tips, tools and resources, visit​