Real Stories - Zelle scam


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Fraudsters posing as a bank employees to solicit money.

Mike MacDonald recently lost $5,600 in a sophisticated scam involving Zelle.

It started with a text asking if he spent $1,532 at Target.

Believing the text was from his bank, he responded no. Then, her phone rang.

"The lady on the other line knew I had gotten that text," he says. "She’s asked me to hold on, and that she could help.”

Still on the phone with who he believed was a bank representative, Mike MacDonald received another text asking if he authorized a $5,600 payment via Zelle.

Logging into his bank account, Mike MacDonald followed the woman’s instructions.

He believed she was reversing that fraudulent Zelle payment when in fact it was just the opposite.

“That’s where the scam was,” he says. “She took my money. It was gone.”

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 than 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.

eFraud Prevention™, LLC