Complaints against money apps climb, NC group says

CHARLOTTE — The North Carolina Public Interest Research Group combed through Consumer Financial Protection Bureau records.

NCPIRG said the bureau created a mobile/digital wallet category in 2017.

It says, “Since then, there have been roughly 9,300 complaints across the country, more than half of them since the pandemic started.”

Katie Craig, the director of NCPIRG, said that more people are using money apps than before. But her group has received 970 complaints last month.

“Myself, as a young person, this is something that myself and a lot of friends use, so it was surprising to me to see how common these complaints are,” Craig told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

Craig said PayPal, which owns Venmo, Square, which owns Cash App, and Coinbase accounted for more than two-thirds of the complaints.

We saw complaints with opening, managing and closing accounts, problems with fraud or scams and also problems with transaction including unauthorized transactions,” she said.

The group is urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to do more to address digital wallet issues.

[Action 9: Some money apps can make people easy prey for scammers]

In the meantime, remember:

  • Money apps are like sending cash. Only use them for people you trust.
  • Have a separate account for those apps so they aren’t tied to all your money.
  • Take advantage of all the privacy settings.

Stoogenke reached out to the three companies mentioned in the news report.

Coinbase said, “Coinbase strives to be the most trusted and easy-to-use platform for accessing the cryptoeconomy. We understand how frustrating it is when our customers experience issues, such as the inability to access their account or make transactions. Improving our customer support experience remains a top priority. In the past few months, we have quadrupled our capacity across our support team and have delivered new technology and methods to resolve our customers’ most pressing issues faster. For example, we have recently updated our two-factor authentication and improved our identity verification process to reduce friction for account recovery while maintaining our security standards.”

PayPal and Square did not provide official statements in time for this article.