Spring, Texas Mobile payment applications are very popular. You can pay in stores using just your cell phone but with this convenience comes risks. KPRC 2 Investigates has three ways you can protect your money and reduce the risk of thieves getting it.
Warning about setting up Apple Cash on your phone
If you have an iPhone, you may have set up Apple Pay. But you may not have realized that you also have a so-called Apple Cash on your device. Apple Cash is a peer-to-peer money transfer service that does not include any security. And a woman from Spring who contacted our team found that out the hard way.
A single mother, Stormi Spurlock has been saving up to buy a house. So, you can imagine her anxiety when she woke up to multiple scam alerts from Chase Bank.
Three charges with Delta Airlines for $977 each, Macy’s for over $500 and Best Buy for $1,000.
“I was freaking out. Like, ‘Oh my god my money wasted’.”
Spurlock is locked out of her online bank account, so she loads her into the car and checks her in at Chase. A bank employee immediately helped Spurlock close her account and transfer her remaining funds to a new account.
But two large transfers, one in the amount of $2,000 and the other in the amount of $1,000, were sent to her Apple account on her phone. She was locked out of her entry. Spurlock called Apple from the bank.
“Is there anything, can you all give my money back to my bank? They are saying no because my account is completely closed,” Spurlock said.
The thieves were able to move Spurlock’s money because she created Apple Pay with a debit card.
Apple Cash for Apple Pay
If you have an iPhone, you should know that you have Apple cash. Apple Cash is different from Apple Pay. Apple Cash is a peer-to-peer payment app like Venmo or Zelle but you may not have realized that Apple Cash is already on your phone even if you haven’t downloaded or set it up.
Spurlock never used Apple Cash but thieves are now using it to steal her money.
3 things you can do to protect yourself from thieves on your iPhone
1. Do not use a debit card
Set up your Apple pay account using your credit card, not a debit card. Criminals target Apple cash because it offers no buyer protection. Once you send money to someone, you cannot get it back.
2. Watch for spam
Don’t fall for phishing text messages with links, scammers will try to trick you into telling you there’s a problem with your Apple Pay account.
3. Keep the codes confidential
Never give away two-factor authentication codes via text, phone, or email. Legitimate customer support agents will never ask for these codes. If someone wants to give you away, you’re dealing with a scammer and if you give them the code, you’re giving them access to your Apple Pay.
We’ve reached out to Apple about Spurlock. She must regain access to her Apple account and hope her $3,000 still exists and her account is locked before the thieves can turn it over to themselves.
If an Apple Pay scammer has scammed you, there are a few things you can do to try and get your money back.
Apple provides a number of resources to help users avoid scams when using Apple Cash They can all be found here. In this support article, in addition to giving tips on how to avoid scams, Apple also shares what to do if users have any questions or concerns about a transaction, how to identify scams, and more about the security and privacy features of using Apple Cash.
You can also review our Apple Pay security and privacy overview here, Which includes more details about Apple Cash.
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