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Scammers trying to dupe unsuspecting victims on fintech apps

Zelle and PayPal have been hit by scammers duping victims into engaging scenarios.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Now is the perfect time for scammers to try and dupe unsuspecting victims on apps like Zelle and PayPal.

Each platform alone has seen complaints rise and scams rise in the last year. Zelle complaints went up 86% in the past year. PayPal saw scams grow to nearly 32%.  

It's the Wild West on some of these platforms in terms of scammers using them because of their peer-to-peer features.

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Although transactions are encrypted through Zelle, making it hard to hack an ongoing payment, scammers are using that peer-to-peer feature to lure people through enticing rental scams or even pet ads online.  

"Always question the source of whoever is reaching out," Bernadette Joy, CEO of Crush Your Money Goals, said. "If you've never heard from them or it seems to be off, it probably is."

On PayPal, victims report cash being sent through the platform but a product was never sent. Most people cite bogus fraud claims and fake bitcoin purchases, which is another big issue.

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Joy advises people to close any existing accounts or credit cards that they don't use, always keep an eye on their transactions in any account, and check their credit scores from time to time.

If there are family members that are older or elderly, it's best to check on them too. Many times scammers use these tactics on elderly people who they believe are not as technologically savvy and often don't realize what's happening until it's too late.

Contact Colin Mayfield at cmayfield@wcnc.com or follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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