New Fraud and Scam Attempts Target Twitter, Personal Payment Apps

News for Cinfed Members

New Fraud and Scam Attempts Target Twitter, Personal Payment Apps

Mobile payment

As we change our financial habits and conduct more digital transactions in response to the pandemic, online criminals are attempting new ways to commit fraud and steal identities. Two recent scams have targeted Twitter and personal payment apps (like Venmo and Zelle). But, by using secure practices for online transactions, you can protect your accounts and defeat these fraudsters. Here are the examples of current fraud attempts in those categories.

Fraudsters set up fake Twitter accounts under the names of celebrities, Fortune 500 companies, or financial institutions. They then use that fake account to send messages to individuals via Twitter. The messages offer an “investment opportunity” in which the individual needs to send money in the form of virtual currency (like Bitcoin). The fraudulent offer promises to send back double the amount, typically within 30 or 60 days.
Victims of this scam have been deceived because they recognize the name of the person or business making the offer, and because the message arrives from a seemingly credible source like Twitter. Here are some signs that the offer you receive via Twitter is likely fraudulent:
  • Promises of high or guaranteed investment or donation returns for payments made to accounts with which you have no prior business relationship.
  • Solicitations with misspellings from individuals or organizations with whom you have no prior existing business relationship, including celebrities or public figures.
  • Solicitations requesting donations via social media where the solicitor is not affiliated with a reputable organization.
  • Social media posts that solicit donations or advertise giveaways that appear from accounts that do not have verification from the social media platform itself.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Payment Apps

Users of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) or personal payment apps like Venmo and Zelle have also been targeted for scams. Though fast and convenient, P2P payment apps require the same diligence and secure practices as other financial services. Here are some techniques used by scammers:
  • Online schemes for fraudulent offers that require payment via P2P app. Because using P2P apps is so easy, people often pay without properly reviewing the recipient.
  • Fraudsters illegally obtain an individual’s name and credit card number and set up a bogus P2P account in the victim’s name.
  • Scammers contact victims and impersonate the fraud department of a financial institution, asking for personal and account information to “resolve” a fictitious problem. The scammers then use the obtained passcode to take over the victim’s P2P app and take money from the victim’s account.
  • Fraudsters will ask to borrow a victim’s phone, saying they lost theirs or the battery died. While pretending to send a text, the fraudster actually goes into the victim’s P2P app and transfers funds from the victim’s account to theirs.
  • When a victim’s Bluetooth is turned on, highly skilled hackers can get into a smartphone via the enabled Bluetooth portal, and gain access to any application where the victim’s username and password are automatically stored. Be conscientious about where and when your device is Bluetooth enabled.

Preventing P2P Payment Fraud

Education and awareness remain the best ways to prevent fraud in all categories. Following are tips for preventing P2P payment fraud.
  • Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person. When purchasing something, use a service with buyer protection.
  • Double-check the username or phone number of the person you are sending money to, and try sending a small amount first to confirm that your intended recipient received it.
  • Opt-in for stronger security. Almost every popular P2P platform offers the ability to create a personal identification number (PIN) or use facial recognition.
  • Before using any P2P service, search the app for customer service contacts and procedures so you know where to go in case you have a dispute.
  • Make sure you have auto-updates turned on for your device to ensure your app has the latest updates and protections.
  • Don’t let strangers borrow your phone. They could pretend to be using it for an emergency but really be using it to transfer money from your app to their account.
  • Consider linking your credit card in the app, instead of a debit card, so you have more fraud protection.
  • If you suspect fraud, freeze or lock your card immediately, contact the P2P app customer service to initiate a dispute, then separately contact your financial institution for further instructions.

Do not fall victim to scammers who take advantage of this technology. Continue to follow established guidelines for preventing fraud and identity theft. As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Cinfed monitors fraud activity on a daily basis through our national network. We will continue providing you with updates and information to help keep your accounts safe and secure. For more information, visit the Security Corner on our website. For additional updates, you can read our blog post with Ways to Avoid Coronavirus Scams.


Cinfed Credit Union
4801 Kennedy Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45209
(513) 333-3800
Routing #242076656


They always go above and beyond at the Oakley branch and truly care about each of their members. And, I absolutely love their kids' membership program. It makes it fun for them to learn about money... 
— Courtney Snow
Been a member since I moved to the Queen City in 1978. Cinfed has always provided customer service that other financial institutions only dream about. Thank you for almost forty years of outstanding... 
— Tim Grabenstein
I recently became a member here at CINFED and it was the best decision I have ever made. I walked in with tears and despair and left with dry eyes, a smile, and I even received a hug from the branch... 
— Melanie
Earlier this year my much younger sister passed away and with that many obligations were to be met by my husband and myself ..My sister was survived by a daughter and son. We have since then taken on... 
— Vonda
How lucky I am to have Liz Frey managing the office I use! I live in Florida but maintain Cinfed as my main banking office. Everytime I need special help a simple email or call to Liz and it is... 
— Debbie G
Emily Snyder took the best care of my two auto loans. She was professional, courteous and very knowledgeable of the available services for me. She went out of her way to make sure I felt like I was... 
— Sarah Amyotte
I have been member with Cinfed since 1986. The Roselawn Cinfed staff greeted the customer phone calls friendly and polite willing to help you with your needs. They have excellent customer service.... 
— Marian Dudley
I have been a member of CINFED since about 1981 when I was transferred from SLC, Utah with the US Army Recruiting Command and have always received excellent service and support . Hope Dee Dee is... 
— Robert Olguin
I have been a member at the Roselawn Branch for a long time and I couldn't be more satisfied with the customer service. No matter how often I come in with a question or issue and no matter what... 
— Andreya T Williams
I been a member since 1985 and can not imagine banking anywhere else. This credit union as taken care of my every need. 24/7 services is excellent.
— Edward, member since 1985
I have been a Cinfed member for years. I know I can depend on them to provide excellent service. The bill pay on line is great and every time I visit the Florence branch I am met with friendly... 
— Jan Ricks
Closed a loan in 24 hours! Absolutely unheard of! Thanks to the exceptional customer service of LeAnn Rose at the Turfway Branch! She went above and beyond by providing unexpected expedited service! ... 
— Christina Stull
I recently applied for a credit card online. I received a call from Emily Snyder explaining what needs to be done next. It was easy and Emily’s customer service was excellent. Emily is a great... 
— Johnnie Bush
I met Emily Snyder because I had a flat tire in the parking lot of Cinfed Credit Union. I didn’t know what to do and she offered to help me. It was late in the evening and I didn’t think anyone... 
— Cindy Hyatt
Emily Snyder took care of setting up a consolidation loan for me on Saturday. She was very friendly, professional, and explained very articulately all the steps involved. Emily also opened a new... 
— Sally A Arbogast
I recently closed for a car loan and a credit card with Susan Z. Her service was excellent. We closed in a couple of days. She was so helpful with her knowledge. It was a pleasure to deal with her.
— Glenda Adkins
I cannot say enough good things about the service I have always received from Cinfed! Most recently, we refinanced a vehicle and dealt with Emily S.! She was quickly responsive and on top of her... 
— Serena Kain
I can say a million great things about Cinfed Credit Union and how they helped me over the years ,But there are many helpful service members, but one Great lady Is Mrs Susan Z. She is an Awesome... 
I have to say I think the new online banking update is pretty awesome. I love that the app is more up to date, clean and user friendly. Happy to be a customer with Cinfed.
— Kyle Neises
I have member with Cinfed for 24 years. The customer service is beyond great. Everything from daily banking to loan services. I recently purchased my daughter a car and originally it was going to be... 
— Tira Williams

NOTE: You are leaving Cinfed Credit Union's web site. Cinfed is not responsible for content or security policies of this external, linked web site.