what are authorized push payment scams

What are Authorized Push Payment Scams? How to Recognize and Avoid Them

Discover the threat of Authorized Push Payment Scams and learn how to protect yourself from financial fraud.


The increasing dependence on digital transactions and online banking has made the possibility of falling victim to financial scams a major issue. An Authorized Push Payment scam is one of the scams that have become prevalent in recent years. Individuals and businesses are scammed into making payments into fraudulent accounts, resulting in significant financial losses.


This article explores what Authorized Push Payment scams are and how to protect yourself from such fraudulent acts.


What are Authorized Push Payment scams?

Authorized Push Payment scams (also known as APP fraud) involve a fraudster deceiving victims into authorizing a payment or transferring funds to the scammer’s account. These scams usually prey on human weaknesses such as trust, dishonesty, and manipulation.


Fraudsters may use different communication channels, such as phone calls, emails, text messages, and social media platforms, to impersonate reputable individuals or organizations.


Scammers use several methods to persuade their victims to willingly make the payments. They could act as a bank representative, a government official, a reliable service provider, or even a romantic companion. They win the victim’s trust and influence them into believing that the payment is legitimate and urgent by using social engineering techniques.


READ: Can Scammed Money Be Recovered?


Common Techniques Used By Scammers in Authorized Push Payment Scams


Scammers usually impersonate a reliable or familiar person, such as a bank employee, a police officer, a utility company representative, or even a friend or family member. This strategy seeks to instill a false sense of security and credibility.


Pressure and urgency

Authorized Push Payment scammers use scare tactics to make their victims feel obligated to make fast payments. They may argue that failing to act quickly may result in serious consequences such as legal issues, service disruptions, or financial losses.


Manipulative emotional appeals

Some scammers take advantage of emotional vulnerabilities by creating situations that take advantage of the victim’s emotions. This might include impersonating a loved one in distress, a person in need of quick medical treatment, or a charitable cause in need of rapid financial aid.


Types of Authorized Push Payment Scams

Authorized Push Payment scams happen in different ways, each of which targets victims differently. Some types of the scam include:


Invoice fraud

Scammers impersonate legitimate service providers and send fake invoices or payment requests, deceiving victims into transferring funds to the fraudster’s account rather than the genuine supplier’s.


Romance scams

Fraudsters create fraudulent accounts on dating websites or social media platforms, form relationships with their victims, and then trick them into sending money for different reasons, such as medical issues, vacation needs, or investment opportunities.


Investment scams

Scammers present false investment opportunities with high returns to persuade victims to deposit money into fraudulent investment accounts. These scams usually use convincing techniques, fake endorsements, and claims of exclusive insider information.


Warning Signs of Authorized Push Payment Scams

Recognizing the red flags and warning signs of Authorized Push Payment scams is important to avoid becoming a victim of these fraudulent schemes. You can recognize potential scams and take proper action to protect your finances if you are aware of the signs.


Here are some significant red flags of Authorized Push Payment scams that you should be aware of:


Unsolicited contact

Scammers usually initiate contact through unsolicited phone calls, emails, text messages, or social media messages. Be careful of unexpected correspondence from individuals or organizations claiming to be representatives of a financial institution, government agency, or reputable firm.


Request for personal information

Scammers may request personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords, or PINs. Legitimate organizations do not often ask for sensitive information through unsolicited communication. Never disclose personal or financial information unless you are confident in the request’s validity.


Unusual payment methods

Be wary if scammers insist on unusual payment methods like wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or gift cards. Legitimate firms typically offer different secure payment methods and do not limit you to a single method.


Grammar and spelling errors

Many scam emails have obvious grammar mistakes, misspellings, or odd sentence construction. This could be a sign of an unprofessional source or a non-native English speaker seeking to deceive.


READ: Who Is Responsible for Bank Fraud?


How to Protect Yourself Against Authorized Push Payment Scams

Here are some important steps to take:

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest Authorized Push Payment scam strategies used by scammers. Regularly educate yourself about the changing nature of these frauds by using credible sources such as law enforcement, financial institutions, and consumer protection organizations.
  • Confirm the identity of the person or organization with whom you are interacting before exchanging sensitive information or making payments. Use trusted contact information gathered from reliable sources, such as official websites or phone directories, rather than relying on the information that the other party provides.
  • Verify any payment requests independently, especially if they involve changes to current payment instructions or the addition of new payees. Before proceeding with the payment, contact the known party over a verified channel to validate the validity of the request.
  • Check payment data carefully (such as bank account numbers and beneficiary names) to confirm it matches the intended recipient. Fraudsters usually use these details to reroute funds to their accounts. Double-checking can help identify discrepancies and avoid falling into their trap.
  • When possible, enable two-factor authentication (2FA), especially for bank accounts and payment services. In addition to your password, 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a unique code texted to your mobile device.



Authorized Push Payment scams pose a huge risk, causing financial and emotional harm to individuals and businesses. You can protect yourself from these scams by understanding the risks, identifying warning signs, and taking preventive steps.


Confirming payment requests and using two-factor authentication can help reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim. Report incidents to authorities and financial institutions for investigations and potential fund recovery.

If you’ve fallen victim to Authorized Push Payment scams, Platogen Finance Security’s fund recovery services can increase your chances of getting your money back. Learn more.


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