CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ABC 7 I-Team has a warning about protecting banking and money transfer apps on your phone after a woman says her $1,400 tax refund disappeared from a popular money app.
Online banking apps and peer-to-peer money transfer apps are wildly popular, but you need to protect yourself from thieves. One woman who's dealing with missing money is trying to figure out what happened.
Round Lake Park resident Tiesha Hines planned to use her $1,400 tax refund for her household needs, but then it disappeared.
"With the little money I do have, trying to make sure I can feed my son and make sure you know I can get where I need, food to take care of my business," Hines said. "And it's been hard."
Hines had her tax refund deposited into her Cash App, an online banking app used to manage and send money.
"I had a bible study and when I left out of bible study, I noticed that all my money was gone and all I had was 62 cents left in my Cash App," Hines said.
The money was sent to a woman named Jada, who Hines says she doesn't know. She filed a police report about the theft and disputed the transaction with Cash App, but she was denied a refund.
Hines isn't sure how someone accessed her Cash App account. It could have been compromised on her other phone, which was stolen about a month before the money was sent to this Jada person.
"I felt used, honestly, with the whole situation," Hines said. "It was definitely a lesson learned. And I definitely regret trusting Cash App with my money."
Cash App didn't comment on Hines' case, but reminds all users to protect accounts by enabling push alerts for transactions, facial recognition and strong passcodes.
The company says it sends text alerts when it suspects that login attempts look unusual, but you should also enable two-factor authentication.
Cash App added that it is "... unable to reverse or refund a payment after it's been completed. Similar to other P2P money transfer platforms, Cash App to Cash App payments are instant and usually can't be canceled unless the recipient refunds the payment."
"This was a lot of my money that I earned for me and my son and for it to just disappear," Hines said.
As an overall security tip, Cash App is also reminding all users to make sure you're sending the cash to a person who you know and trust.
Cash App said it will also now ask you to confirm if you are sending money to someone outside of your contact list.