ORLANDO, Fla. - It's the fastest-growing way to pay transferring money with your cellphone. But several customers using mobile payment apps told Action 9 they lost hundreds of dollars doing so.
Channel 9 consumer investigator Todd Ulrich uncovers the real risks and how to protect your money.
ATMs and debit cards seem old school compared to mobile payment apps used to transfer money from person to person.
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“It was just an easy way to exchange money,” Debbie Jackson said.
She used Cash App. It’s a major mobile pay service.
For a year, a tenant paid Jackson $1,250 monthly rent through Cash App. It was great, until it wasn't.
“I was alarmed and convinced my account had been hacked and fraud occurred,” Jackson said.
Her Cash App account showed her tenant transferred the money. But it never reached her checking account that was linked to Cash App.
“Where is your money today?” Ulrich asked.
“I have no idea,” Jackson said.
She called Action 9, and so did five other consumers in recent months, who were making similar claims.
“I was just shocked this happened,” Delores Purdie said.
She claims she paid a hairstylist $70 using Cash App. The money transferred out of her bank account, but it never reached the stylist.
Just clicking on a mobile payment app cost a local woman more than $1,200. @TUlrichWFTV exposes why these popular cash transfers can be risky, and how to guard against scammers TODAY at 5:45pm on #wftv. @GWarmothWFTV @MarthaSugalski pic.twitter.com/Rh6N7mm3Do— WFTV Channel 9 (@WFTV) February 8, 2019
“That's disturbing. That's just, that's disturbing,” Purdie said.
Online complaint sites show hundreds of consumers felt burned using Cash App and many of those complaints were about the company not responding.
“They said they would get back to me. But they never did,” Purdie said.
Mobile payments are a big hit with scammers. Sometimes they’ll use fake online customer service numbers and websites to steal account information.
Consumer experts say to link your payments to your credit card, not your checking account, so you can dispute bad transactions.
“Linking to a credit card instead of your personal bank account is a much safer route,” said Better Business Bureau President Holly Salmons.
Cash App is reviewing both customer complaints. It warns against scam sites and says the company never asks for a customer's PIN or sign-in codes.
“I absolutely will not use this system again,” Jackson said.
There are other apps for mobile payments and there are lots of online complaints about those, too. But in recent months, we've been hearing from Cash App customers.
Cash App response:
We are always working to protect our customers, which includes educating them about phishing scams. We remind customers that currently (1) the Cash App team generally communicates via email; (2) the email will come from a cash.app, square.com, or squareup.com address; and (3) the Cash App team will never solicit a customer’s PIN or sign in code outside of the app. For more information, we encourage customers to visit our website.
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