How thieves can get into your bank account from your iPhone

Spring, Texas – Mobile payment apps are very popular. You can only pay in stores with your mobile, but along with that convenience comes risk. 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 might not have realized that you also have what’s called Apple Cash on your device. Apple Cash is a peer-to-peer money transfer service that doesn’t include any protection. And one spring woman who reached out to our team found out the hard way.

KPRC 2 Investigates how a woman in Spring lost money from her bank account via Apple Cash on her device. (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

Single mom Stormi Spurlock has been saving up to buy a house. So, you can imagine her anxiety when she woke up to more fraud alerts from Chase bank.

Three charges with Delta Airlines for $977 each, Macy’s for more than $500 and Best Buy for $1,000.

“I was freaking out. Like, ‘Oh my God, my money’s out.’”

Spurlock got locked out of her online bank account, so she loaded it into her car and booked it at Chase. A bank employee immediately helped Spurlock close her account and transfer the remaining money to a new account.

But two large transfers, one for $2,000 and another for $1,000 were sent to his Apple account on his phone. And she was locked out of it. Spurlock called Apple from the bank.

KPRC 2 Investigates how a woman in Spring lost money from her bank account via Apple Cash on her device. (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

“There is something, can you transfer my money to my bank? And they say no because my account has been completely blocked,” Spurlock said.

The thieves were able to move Spurlock’s money because he set up his Apple Pay with a debit card.

Apple Cash versus 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 might not have realized that Apple Cash is already on your phone even if you haven’t downloaded or set it up.

Spurlock had never even used Apple Cash, but now thieves were using it to steal her money.

3 things you can do to protect yourself from thieves on your iPhone

1. Don’t use a debit card

Set up your Apple Pay account with your credit card, not a debit card. Criminals target Apple Cash because it offers no protection to the buyer. Once you send someone money, you can’t get it back.

2. Watch out for spam messages

Don’t fall for phishing text messages with links, scammers will try to trick you that there is a problem with your Apple Pay account.

3. Keep the codes secret

Never give up 2-factor authentication codes by text, phone or email. Legitimate customer support agents will never ask for these codes. If someone wants you to give up yours, you are dealing with a scammer and if you give them the code you give them access to your Apple Pay.

We contacted Apple about Spurlock. He should regain access to his Apple account and hope that his $3,000 is still there and that his account has been blocked before the thieves could transfer it to themselves.

If a scammer cheats you on Apple Pay, there are things you can do to try and get your money back.

Apple has sent us this information to share about Apple Pay and Apple Cash

We provide a variety of resources to help users avoid scams when using Apple Cash, which you can find them all here. In this support article, in addition to providing tips on how to avoid scams, we also share what to do if users have questions or concerns about a transaction, how to recognize scams, and a little more about 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.

I also wanted to clarify the difference between Apple Cash and Apple Pay for your awareness. Apple Cash is a digital card in Wallet that lets you send and receive money in Messages or Wallet. The money you receive appears on your Apple Cash card in Wallet. You can spend it however you like in stores, online and in apps with Apple Pay. Apple Pay lets you make secure, contactless purchases using Apple Cash, Apple Card, and any other credit and debit cards you add to Wallet.

Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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