Social Media Payments: Secure or Risky?

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat have long been a place to reconnect and communicate.

Social commerce, as it’s called, works like this: If you’re using a social media channel that has a social commerce option, you’d first tie your debit or credit card to your account. If you wanted to split a bill, pay someone back for a shared expense, or send money to a family member or friend – a message or action on your mobile device sends cash to anyone you choose that also uses social media.

With social commerce, however, security isn’t paramount. For example, when using Facebook Payments or Snapcash (Snapchat’s money transfer option), a transaction happens immediately, and cannot be cancelled after it has been initiated.

Social media channels also don’t require you to re-authenticate your identity prior to transferring money. That means if you are continually logged into your accounts, anyone can secretly pick up your phone or mobile device, open your social media app, and send themselves money – all without your knowledge or permission.

To protect yourself from scammers on these social media messaging platforms, watch out for the following:

  • People asking you for money who you don’t know personally.
  • People asking you for advance fees in order to receive a loan, prize or other winnings.
  • People asking you to move your conversation off of your social media page, such as asking you for a             separate email address.
  • People claiming to be a friend or relative in an emergency; or
  • Poor spelling and grammatical mistakes.

 If you notice a transaction was made without your permission, contact your card issuer immediately. But if you decide social commerce is a good option for you, logging out of your social media accounts after use, plus enabling a two-factor authentication, can help prevent fraud and protect your money.

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