Real Stories - Zelle scam
It all started with a text message from someone who claimed to be a representative from Mike MacDonald's bank.
"It said ‘Did you authorize a purchase through Zelle for $3,500.’ And then it said type ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No," Mike says that he typed ‘N’ and immediately got a phone call.
The person on the other end sounded professional and said all the right things, telling Mike that his account had been hacked and he needed to send himself three payments through Zelle to get his money back.
"Essentially they started the whole thing by trying to help me out of being scammed, but really they were scamming me,” Mike explains.
Mike said $1,800 was stolen from his account.
Look out for these red flags:
- The person contacting you about a problem with your bank account is pushy or aggressive.
- They insist there's no other way to fix the problem then following their instructions.
- If it is a text or email, their message has grammatical errors.
How to prevent this type of fraud:
- Only use money transfer apps with people you know.
- Never discuss account numbers, PINs, or other personal information with anyone who contacts you.
- If the person claiming a problem with your account needs your account info, look up your credit union or bank's phone number yourself and call them.
- Don't call the number in the text, email, or voice mail, as it will connect you with the scammers.
- Chances are that when you call your bank or credit union, they will say there is nothing wrong, and that way you don't fall for the Zelle scam, and you don't waste your money.