How To Protect Yourself From Getting 'Zelle Scammed'

How To Protect Yourself From Getting 'Zelle Scammed'
Image Source: Antoni Shkraba/Pexels

Scammers have now set their eyes on Zelle, an instant payment app, as their latest target to scam potential prospects. Users across the country have reported a rise in Zelle scams, where fraudsters are conning them through insidious ways and channels, per HackerNoon.

 

Launched in 2017, Zelle was introduced in the US with the sole purpose of simplifying general payments. The app's nuanced user interface and easy-to-use functionality made it popular among the masses across the country. However, its recent popularity is the very reason for increased scamming activity, tempting fraudsters to demonstrate unethical ways to scam people. 

What are Zelle scams all about? 

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Zelle scams are common category scams that follow the age-old pattern of extorting money through impersonation, phishing links and emails. Sometimes, the scammers would set up fake marketplaces on popular social media platforms to woo users. The newest addition to the Zelle scam league is how fraudsters are compelling innocent victims to send money via Zelle in the name of love and dating.



 

What are five common Zelle scams?

While Zelle Scams are increasingly common and easy to draw towards, here are a few common Zelle-based scams that users can identify and practice caution at their discretion.

1) A fishy email

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Emails have always been one of scammers' favorite ways to wreak havoc in innocent people's lives. Whenever you have an email appear out of the blue in your inbox that demands money or tempts you to go to some other portal through a shady link, It's always better to report such addresses and block the email sender right away. The link attached to the email is usually malware that corrupts your software, rendering your device dysfunctional. The link can also steal important credentials (bank details or personal data), so it's always important to block such skeptical emails right away.

Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Gustavo Fring
Image Source: Gustavo Fring/Pexels 

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2) The act of impersonation

Zelle scammers are also using the art of impersonation to lure innocent users into giving away potential money and details. Scammers would often impersonate company professionals asking for a certain amount of money and may compel the victim to instantly pay the money to resolve a so-called "emergency situation." The urgency of the entire predicament may end up with users sending money to such scammers. It's always better to verify facts and block such calls immediately before acting upon the urgency of the situation.

Cover Image Source: istockphoto/Thai Liang Lim
Image Source: Thai Liang Lim/istockphoto

3) The fake job sellout

For Zelle Scammers, setting up a fake job profile on reputed job portals is a piece of cake. These scammers have notably put up fake job profiles on job boards to lure users. Once hired for the job, the so-called recruiters or scammers may send a list of supplies that an applicant must pay for first to avail of them. Once the money has been sent, the so-called recruiter vanishes, leaving the applicant scammed and perplexed. In such situations, pay heed to the fact that a registered and reputable company will never ask its employees to pay for anything. Using your logic and intellect while dealing with such proceedings will help you get out of such shady situations.

 4) The Facebook Marketplace scam

A newly emerging trend, Facebook marketplace scams, are rising increasingly because of users who engage with prospects online and accidentally reveal personal information. Zelle scammers rummage through such marketplaces to find sellers auctioning off products. They usually approach such sellers under the guise of buyers, asking for sensitive bank information to deposit money into.

These scammers then end up calling the buyer's bank, telling them that they have accidentally deposited the money twice into the said account. The bank, in order to retain the customer, ends up issuing a provisional credit of $1000. The conversation escalates to the point where scammers assert the same story to the buyer, adding that the seller needs to send the remaining amount back via Zelle. You know how it ends up later. To avoid such scams, it's imperative for users to stop sharing such details with strangers online.

Image Source: Getty Images/Editorial
Image Source: Editorial/Getty Images

5) Zelle romance scams

These scams generally take place when a user lands up on a fake dating portal and their so-called date compels them to send money to initiate things further. These scams are common and usually happen after the prospect has spent a great deal of time with scammers. The only way to avoid being involved in such scams is to practice caution while exploring online dating prospects and registering through safe dating portals to explore safe dating options.

Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska
Image Source: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels 

 

Following online safety protocols can minimize and eventually end scamming activities.

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