Online Security

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Payment Scams

More and more people are using mobile payment apps like Zelle®, Venmo® or CashApp®. P2P payments can make splitting the bill or paying for a service simple and convenient, but vigilance is key.
How P2P Scams Work

You’ve been looking for a beach-front property to rent over the holiday weekend to no avail. Then, you see a post on a social media page advertising your family’s dream rental. You want to snag it before someone else does, so you strike up an email correspondence with the owner and send over the down payment requested via a P2P app. After that, all communication ceases and you’re left with no vacation rental or way to retrieve your money.

Action Steps to Prevent P2P Scams

If you’ve fallen for a P2P Scam, there’s a good chance that your funds are lost for good, but it’s still important to respond quickly to limit damage and help others from being similarly targeted.

  1. 01

    Immediately contact the P2P app or your financial institution to explain that the transaction was fraudulent and seek assistance with retrieval.

  2. 02

    If you do not receive the support you need, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at and file a complaint.

Online Security Center

At Morgan Stanley, safeguarding your assets and personal information is among our highest priorities. Learn about our security measures and use our resources and ideas to help protect yourself online.