Protect yourself from payment scams

Editor’s note:  I received this as an email from Capital One, and thought I would share it with my readers.

Many of our customers use payment apps, like Zelle®, to send money to friends and family. With the rise of digital payments and third-party payment apps, there’s also an increasing number of scammers trying to take advantage. We want you to be empowered to spot the latest scams and know fraud when you see it. Protect yourself—and your money.

Here’s what the latest scams look like:

  1. Impersonating a Capital One associate
    Scammers will try to pose as Capital One and ask you to provide your personal information or even transfer money by phone, text or email. They might also use a fake caller ID that could show up as Capital One or request remote access to your device.
    TIP: When in doubt, hang up the phone and call us at the number listed on the back of your debit or credit card.
  2. Pay yourself
    Scammers may contact you impersonating an established individual or company and tell you that they have noticed suspicious activity, such as money being sent from your account to another account. They’ll ask you to send the money to yourself with Zelle® to reverse the payment.
    TIP: Capital One will never ask you to do this. Before sending money to yourself at another bank or credit union, make sure the email address or U.S. mobile number you’re using to send the money has been enrolled with Zelle® at the other financial institution and is linked to your account.
  3. Attempting to gain remote access to your devices
    An unknown company or person will request remote access to your phone or computer. They may also ask you to download an app to fix an “issue,” which would allow them remote access and could expose your account information.
    TIP: Be careful when giving device access to third parties.
  4. Fake websites
    Legitimate-looking websites are being created by scammers, and a quick Google search will lead you to a real-looking phone number. When you call, they’ll try to obtain your sign-in details or other information.
    TIP: Always do the proper research before making a purchase online.

Protect yourself and your family.

Neither Zelle® nor Capital One offers a protection program for authorized payments—for example, if you buy an item with Zelle®, but you don’t receive it or it’s not what you expected. If this happens, you may not get your money back, so only use Zelle® and third-party payment apps to pay those you know and trust.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more and as these scam techniques evolve. It’s all part of how Capital One is looking out for your financial safety every day.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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