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Keeping Your Accounts Safe and Protected: P2P Transfer Scams

With everything going on in the world, ID theft is one headache that you don’t need. Although it’s not fun to think about, there are safety precautions that all members should take to keep their AHFCU and other accounts safe.

P2P transfer scams involve fraudsters informing a consumer that they “accidentally” sent funds to him or her via instant money transfer services (i.e., Zelle, Venmo, Cash App, etc.).  The fraudster asks the consumer to send the money back as a favor to undo their “error.”  If the victim agrees and authorizes a new P2P credit to the fraudster, the fraudster will then recall the initial credit he/she sent, leaving the consumer victim in a loss position because he/she authorized the credit reimbursement to the fraudster.

Another flavor of P2P transfer scams involves fraudsters wanting payment for the goods they have for sale via one of the P2P services.  The victim will send their P2P credit to the fraudster, who either never delivers the item purchased, or sends a fraudulent one (event tickets are a common offering in this scam).  Because the victim authorized the payment to the fraudster, in many cases they are not covered by Regulation E unauthorized entry protections or the policies of the P2P service.

HOW TO IDENTIFY THREAT: Consumers should be informed of these types of P2P scams and never use any P2P transfer service to send money to a stranger.

HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST THIS THREAT: Financial institutions should continue to educate their customers to never send or receive funds from individuals they do not know when using P2P services.  It may help consumers to think of P2P transfer services in the same way they do cash, where they would be very reluctant to mail cash to anyone they didn’t know.


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