May 16, 2019
Writer: Jaime Strobel

If you’re used to using digital wallet apps for their quick and convenient use, you may want to think again.

“I want to make sure that people know the risks behind this and what things could come your way negatively by using this and how to be safe using them,” said Jeremy Johnson, Eastern Idaho’s marketplace manager for the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Pacific.

Phones aren’t always secure and information can get out, she explained.

In her article published in the Post Register, she shared a story of a woman in Detroit who lost $9,000 in a matter of moments from using digital transactions.

Johnson offered ways people can safeguard themselves from being a victim of a scam.

One of the biggest safeguards people should practice, is always tying a credit card account to these apps, she said.

It can be very dangerous having your debit card or checking account linked because if your account gets hacked into, it’s a lot harder to recover the money than it is from a credit card, she explained. “Credit card companies are more apt to work with you and be able to handle this better." 

Venmo, PayPal, Cash App and Apple Pay are some of the digital wallet apps people use to make financial transactions.

Using these apps have been great, but people need to use passwords, attach credit cards and be safe, she said.

“You want to be skeptical…how could my information possibly be compromised with this situation?” she asked. “You always want to think about, ‘Am I putting my personal information or financial information at risk?’”

Many people may not realize there is a processing time with these apps, Johnson said. When making digital transactions, some wallet apps take a few days to receive and process the money that’s being transferred.

She cautions individuals that dishonest people can retract the payment while it’s processing, and then you won’t receive the payment you were expecting.

“The best thing to do is put a password on the app,” she said.

The Better Business Bureau wants people to have a great consumer experience which is why they make an effort to educate others about the dangers of digital transactions and how to safeguard yourself against them.