We frequently believe that scams only affect other people and that we are too knowledgeable, careful, or smart to fall for them. However, there are times when we are all susceptible to stumbling. And all it takes is the right message, item, or time. Lately, that has been occurring frequently on Zelle, a digital payments network.
How the Zelle scam operates
Zelle uses a frequent trick by sending you a text in the format used by the majority of banks:
FreeMsg: CAPITAL ONE BANK Fraud Protection Team: Did you attempt a Zelle Transfer for $500.00 on 10-07-2022? Reply YES or NO. To Opt Out Fraud Alert Text reply STOP
Furthermore, the message may seem genuine if you recently sent some money that day. Additionally, if you respond to the message (which is also a trap), they will get in touch with you to confirm your personal information. Then, they can drain your account if you confirm your username or password with them, which is the part tricking many people.
Moreover, another popular scam involves a seller who lists a product on a website like OfferUp, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace but only accepts Zelle as a form of payment. And since Zelle is designed to be used for personal transfers to family and friends rather than business transactions, you don’t get the same safety offered by credit cards or websites like PayPal. In addition, you cannot call your bank or Zelle and request a refund of your money.
What to do if “your bank” calls or texts you
If “your bank” texts or calls you –
- Be dubious. You should be aware that your bank will never call to request your personal information. They already possess it.
- Call the official number after ignoring the call or hanging up. Then, verify with the bank that the information you are receiving is accurate.
Finally, if you wish to buy something from an online market –
- There is a 99.99% probability that it is a scam if the seller only accepts Zelle. Let it go.
- Ask to utilize different services such as PayPal’s “goods and services,” which uses a third-party money transfer provider to secure both your money and the item being sold. And although there is a small price to pay, it is worthwhile.