Real Stories - Zelle scams
Missy Carlson says she received a text message from someone who claimed to work for her bank.
“It said ‘Did you authorize a $3,500 dollar payment? ‘Yes, or no,’ and she I texted 'No,'”.
“So, I called my bank, and while the line is ringing, I got a caller ID coming in and it said it was from my bank, and so I hung up and answered the call.”
Missy says the person on the other line claimed to work for my bank and even provided an employee ID number, which Missy later verified with her bank was actually a fake number.
She says the caller then explained how they were going to reverse the fraudulent transfer by having Missy send two transactions to herself, totaling $3,500.
“They said ‘I’m going to text you a number and you’re going to read the number to me.’ And I said, ‘Okay,’ and so I did, and then he said ‘Okay, now I need you to Zelle yourself a thousand dollars,”’ Missy explains.
The whole situation didn't quite feel right, but with everything happening so fast, and the scammer saying and doing all the right things, she decided to listen to the scammers.
"I didn’t feel right about it, so I called the bank, and I went online immediately and saw that my money was gone,” Missy says.
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.