A financial watchdog group is warning people that peer-to-peer application balances, such as Cash App or Zelle, may be vulnerable to thieves.
"When it was said and done, I was out thousands of dollars," said Maria Glover.
Glover is a victim of criminals targeting online banking and payment applications.
In February, she received texts alerting her to possible fraudulent activity with her Citibank checking account, which was attached to her peer-to-peer payment application, Zelle.
Only those messages came from thieves who were fishing to see if she had a Citibank account. Her real bank did not contact her.
"I never gave them a password of any kind. I never gave any of my personal information," she said.
But the following day, Glover noticed thousands of dollars were stolen out of her checking account via Zelle.
"I still don't know how they got access to get into my bank account," she said.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning on Thursday that consumers should not store money in payment apps like Zelle, Venmo, Paypal, Cash App, and others.
They may not be safe and often lack insurance like regular bank deposits, which cover up to $250,000.
These apps have become incredibly popular in the last few years, with approximately 839 billion in transaction volume in 2022.
"If consumers are effectively using those P2P (peer-to-peer) apps in the same ways as a deposit, they should come with the same protections and the same amount," said Declicia Hand with Consumer Reports.
Glover says Citibank has only recently reimbursed her for some of her alleged stolen money but says thousands of dollars in reimbursements have been denied.
She added that most of the stolen transactions were over her daily $2,500 withdrawal limit, but Citibank told her it can't explain how it happened.
"They were giving me no money to just function. So it was extremely stressful and financial hardship for the last four months for me," said Glover.
Action News reached out to Citibank but has not heard back yet.