How to safely use payment apps

As a frequent PayPal user, I wasn’t surprised to see a payment request on the app pop up. But when I read it, I knew something was wrong.

In the message, a stranger asked me to send them $699 in order to get a “refund.” While I instantly recognized the request as a scam, I still felt vulnerable; I didn’t immediately see any obvious way to flag the request as a scam, and with just one click, I could have accidentally sent this stranger a huge chunk of money.

I’m hardly alone in my worry over security when using peer-to-peer payment apps: According to a Pew Research Center survey published in September 2022, about one-third of people who use payment apps or websites say they are “a little or not at all confident that payment apps or sites keep people’s personal information safe from hackers or unauthorized users.” And an alarming 13% of people who have ever used PayPal, Venmo, Zelle or Cash App say they have made the mistake of sending money to a scam artist.

In Kimberly Palmer’s latest for the Associated Press, learn how to safely use payment apps.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to get the best Amazon Black Friday 2021 deals. Also in the news: Buy Now Pay Later loans, October’s mortgage outlook, and is the IRS about to tax your Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App transactions.

How to Get the Best Amazon Black Friday 2021 Deals
The earliest-ever Amazon Black Friday sale is on. Get Apple AirPods Pro for $179.

Buy Now, Pay Later Is Everywhere. Should You Opt In?
Buy now, pay later plans are offered at major retailers. Learn how these plans work and whether you should use one.

Mortgage Outlook: Falling Leaves, Rising Rates in October
Rates are on the rise.

Is the IRS Really About to Tax Your Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App Transactions?
Transactions of $600 or more are coming under scrutiny.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 8 credit card strategies – and some surprises, too. Also in the news: The technophobe’s guide to cybersecurity, why the Apple Card could make you spend more, and why Cash App users should be on the lookout for scams.

8 Credit Card Strategies — And Some Surprises, Too
Using your cards strategically.

The Technophobe’s Guide to Cybersecurity
Protecting yourself and your data.

Why The Apple Card Could Make You Spend More
Chasing rewards and instant gratification.

Watch Out for Scams Targeting Cash App Users
Be alert.