Zelle fraud emergency kit and FAQ

If you’ve landed on this page, you are probably in a bit of shock that your bank account could be drained by a criminal and your bank doesn’t seem to care, or think you are entitled to a “refund.”  In many cases, you are — you just haven’t talked to the right person yet. I’ll try to help.

I’ve been writing about fraud at Zelle — and the mishandling of Zelle fraud claims by big banks — for more than a year now, so if you search for Zelle and fraud on Google, my stories come up.  That means desperate victims who’ve just been robbed, and then rejected by their bank, find my stories and email me looking for help. Their stories are heartbreaking and maddening (like this one!) . On many occasions, far more than I’ve written about on this site, I’ve essentially performed free customer service for these banks, forwarding on emails and helping consumers get refunds.  To better handle all these emails, I’m creating this page to be an ongoing resource for victims as this crime progresses. It’s FAQ style: Skip ahead to what you need.  Hopefully these tips are self-service and your bank will come to its senses with a little extra prodding. If not, feel free to email me and I’ll try to offer additional help. Also, if you’ve managed to get a refund using a technique I don’t mention, please email me and I’ll add your experience to this page.

I look forward to the day I take this page down as it’s no longer necessary. I suspect that will take a while.

What is Zelle? A relatively new person to person payment system backed by hundreds of U.S. banks, including biggies like Bank of America and Chase.  It was created to make sure big banks didn’t lose this side of the banking business to new payment companies like Venmo, popular with young consumers.

Can I use Zelle for anything? No. Zelle is designed to make it easy to give $20 or $40 to a friend to pay an IOU after you have lunch together. Never use it for anything else. Some people use it to pay rent or other larger bills. I think that’s a terrible idea.

I’ve never heard of it. How could I have a Zelle account? You — or someone — has to activate your Zelle account before it can be used to send money. But in reality, most people with an bank account at a Zelle-affiliated bank already have a Zelle “account.”  Criminals are exploiting this confusion, activating Zelle accounts for consumers who’ve never used the service.

Zelle is backed by big banks, so I should expect the same fraud protections I am familiar with, right? NO, NO, NO.  Zelle is not like a credit or debit card. You can’t call a bank and reverse a transaction or dispute a “charge.”  That’s why Zelle should never be used to but concert tickets off Craigslist or to send an AirBnB deposite or anything like that.  If you affirmatively Zelle someone money, and they turn out to be a scammer, you are screwed.

What if my Zelle account is hacked? Ok, this is probably why you are here.  Someone accessed your Zelle account, sent themselves money, and now the bank is telling you that you have no recourse. I hear often from people who say $1,000 or $2,000 has just been taken from their account — shock No. 1 — and then their bank says there’s no way to get that money back — shock N0. 2.  If that doesn’t sound right to you, it’s not.  If your Zelle account was hacked, you are indeed entitled to dispute this authorized transaction, and to get your money back. However, it seems obvious to me that bank employees are poorly trained to deal with this situation (An honest mistake? Intentional negligence? History will decide.).  Many just tell consumers that Zelle is like cash, so there’s nothing that can be done after a fraud. This is wrong. I have this in writing from Zelle.

Yea!  I have the law on my side. But so what? I’m still out the money

Here’s some things to know about the process, and things that have worked to pursuade banks to issue refunds in this situation:

You have to wait 10 days: When you dispute a transaction like this, the bank has 10 days to investigate and issue a provisional credit (or not).  This is frustrating, because you might be thinking the bank is just stalling for 10 days before saying no. That might be true.  But you still have to go through the process. If you are a person who lives paycheck to paycheck, this can be awful. I’m sorry.

Don’t just sit around for those 10 days: If you are rejected, the reason will likely be that the bank believes you authorized the transaction. In some cases, that might be true. Maybe you forgot? Maybe you gave your login to a friend? Maybe you are engaging in “friendly fraud?” (Disputing a transaction that you really did authorize just to steal money.  The bank has legitimate reasons to question your dispute.  Start thinking: How can you prove it wasn’t you?  Your detailed cell phone records might help. Start the process of getting them from your cell phone provider.

If the bank rejects you: Ask them for a specific reason for rejection, and get it in writing. Then ask them to reopen the investigation.  They’ll usually do this.  Ask what evidence they are looking for to prove you didn’t authorize the transaction? Ask how and when the transaction was authorized.  Your cell phone records might show you did no such thing at that date and time. Or they might show other suspicious activity — perhaps an unauthorized user was added to your account?

That’s not fair: Yes, it does sound like you are being required to prove your innocence, or even to prove a negative (I didn’t send the money). It will take time. It’s not fair. I’m sorry about that. But until some larger entity (bank regulators, CFPB, where are you???) takes up this cause, you are on your own.

What else? What have I missed? Please write in comments below what has worked, or failed, for you. The quicker we tell people what to do, the quicker people will get their money back.

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About Bob Sullivan 1470 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

49 Comments

  1. My account was hacked in September and someone added themselves to my Zelle list and transferred all my money to there email address. I’ve opened three investigations with USAA and they said that the account was accessed from Russia and they are denying the claim since I could of given my password out which I didn’t. Any ideas on how I can fight this? I’m at the end of my rope here. Thanks!

    • USAA refuses to refund any Zelle transaction. I even filed an IC3 FBI report. I asked for logs, receiving bank, transaction logs and other info all refused to be given to me. Went to the CEOs office she did not care. Broke down every detail how I could hack Zelle. DFIR guy myself and explained how to compromise the whole system. She didn’t care and said too bad. I even asked how they identify an IP address being tunneled to look like a legit US address they said they cannot. The whole thing is ripe for fraud. Hell I could setup something myself and scam all day and not a thing would be done. A class action needs to be filed against them. You need a subpoena to see any logging about any Zelle transaction. I smell a rat somewhere here and think someone is pocketing money for each transaction possibly by percentage.

  2. I was scammed a few months ago by a fraudulent dog breeder online requesting a deposit through Zelle. Precisely 6 mins after I sent a deposit through Zelle as requested, the recipient claimed their Zelle account was not working right and they requested Moneygram instead.

    Red flags went off and since I had sent the money through a debit card transaction rather than a direct from account transfer (my bank does not promote Zelle), the Zelle app did not allow me to cancel the transaction. There was a cancel transaction button but it did nothing.

    Within 20 mins, I had called Zelle and my own bank to attempt to stop the transaction and both said the same thing, the transaction must go through and then I mist dispute it. The Zelle rep also told me that Zelle should not be used with a person you do not already know and trust, a detail buried deep in the terms and conditions.

    I allowed the transfer to proceed and went to the bank to pursue a fraud complaint the following day. I provided all details of the transaction, the website of the scammer (which I also found on another site called petscams.com the day of he event) and all email communications and text messages, phone number and everything else I had.

    The bank called me a few days later and told me the process could take up to 90 days for a determination. I told the bank I’m willig to wait and in the meantime, I will be sharing my story with the press to help others.

    About 60 days later, I received a letter from the bank, I expected a rejection and was surprised to find a letter notifying me that the money had been deposited into my account.

    My advice, don’t be embarrassed by your stupid mistakes, go to the press. Share your stupid mistake with others, even if you don’t recover your loss, your story could spare others from making the same mistake.

    For the record, I have always been the one skeptical person in my family and job warning others of everything being a scammed. It could happen to any of us. Learn from it, share your story.

    • I just had this same thing happen. I called my bank immediately after realizing the scam. Within an hour. I am told that I willing gave the funds and there’s nothing they can do. What bank do you bank with? I really thought I was safe going through my bank. Zelle is saying my bank has to request the funds back and my bank is saying the opposite.

      • I am having this exact issue! I sent the money through my bank via Zelle and within a few hours discovered the pet breed we was a scam. I can’t reach a person at Zelle and my bank says it won’t reverse charges. So I am out $500!?!?

        • I am so sorry that happened to you. I still haven’t heard back from my claim I started with Zelle and with my bank as well. Both made claims for me but both told me it’s likely I won’t get my money back. I’m so upset no dog & out all that money especially during these times. If I have any luck getting my money I’ll let you know how I did it. To put in a claim I had to hold on the line of my bank for like 2 hours. I think they gave me Zelle number (I’ll look to see if I have it & post it on here for you) I waited for like an hour on hold with Zelle as well.

      • I ended up getting my bank to do a fraud thing. They said it would take 60 to 90 days if successful at all. I told them I will be filing a police complaint and speaking with the press while they proceed with the fraud process. I ended up getting my money bank from the bank.

        Be nice to the person you speak with at your bank but make sure they know you are willing to get the media involved to educate others about scams of this nature.

        • I was puppy scammed and the Bank said sorry after an investigation , I started already writing to The white house my senators you name it , but I didn’t tell the bank yet so what should I do

  3. After reading your and other articles about Zelle, and being a security-oriented person myself, I called my bank, BoA, and got them put into my account record that I would never ever use Zelle and if somehow a Zelle transaction was made against my account, BoA should immediately reject the transaction. Ostensibly, they understood and did what I requested, and will do what I requested if it ever occurs. I’ve also shared your post here on FB.

  4. My Zelle story: I used my BOA app to set up a recipient by cell#, to which I sent 3 transfers, none of which went to the BOA account of the recipient. They reportedly went to the BOA account of someone who held the same phone number over 7 years earlier, the number this third party may have registered with Zelle previously, without later correction!

    Apparently BOA does no cross-checking of account contact numbers with Zelle registration, either in their app or in the notification process. There is also no check for redundancy in the software or in the transfer system.

    The transfer text message went to the intended recipient, but the money went to the account of the previous owner of the same phone number. Again, no verification process. The BOA app blithely showed the transfers were successful, even though the recipient name that was set up, the actual account holder names, and working phone numbers do not match! There is no code number or reply verification in the setup process, as is commonly used by other types of cell/software transactions that do not involve people’s money.

    3 visits to a local BOA branch for assistance, and many calls to technical support resulted in BOA’s eventual recognition of the problem, and their suggestion that I, get this: “hire a lawyer to subpoena” the name of the unintended account holder that by law, they cannot reveal to me. This means I will have to sue the bank for legal fees, which will total way more than the amount falsely tendered.

    First takeaway: There need to be regulations applied to this industry ASAP, and as a former programmer, may I suggest that there need to be a few app designers in the unemployment line.

    Based on what I read on the Zelle.com website, and in the BOA app instructions, there is no way I could have foreseen this happening, and there is no incentive for either party in the transaction to become accountable for their incompetence, or for the damages to the innocent parties involved.

    The failure of the bank to supervise and/or correct the misdirection of my money resulted in the recipient being stuck at an airport in a snowstorm thousands of miles away, with no money in their account for transportation. There were additional charges for attempts to check the account balance several times from a third party ATM, that resulted in a negative account balance.

    None of this seems to matter to BOA, who considers my claim to be “resolved.” It also doesn’t seem to bother Zelle.com, to whom I have also written (Zelle doesn’t take calls from users of bank front-end apps, even though it recommends that people use them when available).

    Of course, due to the design and implementation of the BOA on-line banking software, the money was removed lickety-split from my account at the time of the transfer. Some of the money has been missing for over 5 months. If the money can be debited that quickly through this electronic medium, it shouldn’t take an act of Congress to get it back just as easily when I warrant that it was misdirected.

    OK, if they want an act of Congress, maybe I can arrange for that. I’ve made that happen before. In the meantime, they can expect to pay legal fees, other costs and penalties for issues including the holding/mishandling of my funds, misleading documentation, the inconvenience experienced by the intended and unintended recipients, my wasted time, and penalties for malfeasance and/or violation of the public trust.

    In this case, the Bank, Zelle, and the unintended recipient all know, or should have known, that my money has been fraudulently handled by all of them. In addition, BOA has removed the recipient from my account’s Zelle setup info without my permission, perhaps in an attempt to mask their bungled transactions (that’s ok, I printed them out). In the bank’s opinion, this is over. In my opinion, we’re just getting started.

  5. I noticed a zelle transaction and immediately called boa. While I was on the phone 3 more…$2500 total. They denied the claim even though I called while the transactions were pending! They didn’t even send me a claim denial email so I would know. I called every Monday for a week checking up on my claim. After I learned it was denied by calling…they suggested I ho yo geek squad to prove my computer was hacked. Greek squad couldn’t prove anything and was surprised boa suggested them. Basically i lost $2500 and there is nothing i can do about it

  6. Hi Bob,
    Just read your article on Zelle.
    My wife & I are in our 60’s & I found a zelle transfer “pending” for $2500.00 the other day so I called the bank, BoA, & they said even though it was still pending there was nothing they could do about it.
    They said we needed to close our accounts at bofa & open new ones, so we did.
    Thing is other payments that were “pending” were returned so now we have late charges on bills we were paying as well.
    Again bofa says too bad.
    They gave me the phone number of where our money went so I called the guy & he claimed he did not know the money came from us he thought he was being paid for a bitcoin sale from some one else & has spent the money.
    We have used zelle to pay our rent, (our landlord insist on it), but that is all once a month. We will now pay in cash.
    The person our money went to is not on our pay to list either.
    In the meantime BofA is “investigating it”.
    One of the people we talked to at bofa said since we did not authorize the transfer bofa will have to refund our money, but I am skeptical because others there said it happens & there is nothing they can do about it.
    $2500.00 is a LOT to us as we are on fixed incomes.
    Do you think there is any chance they will refund our money?
    Thanks for listening, & thanks for trying to warn others, wish I would have seen your article & listened to my gut instincts in the first place.

  7. This has been going on with my account for 2 months. Illegal checks and then Zelle transfers totaling almost $4,000. I have been getting the run around and denied, at this point, three times. I have done all the due diligence, figured out where all the activity has come from, contacted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and been told it is my fault. I am going to have to go to small claims court to get this resolved. There has to be something we can do…Bob, help us.

  8. I use Zelle to send my landlord rent every month, 2500.00.
    its that or cash, (& yes it is cash now).

    but some one sent 2500 to a person in florida from my account.
    The name or number are not on the list of people who I send money to. or in the history of people I sent money to.
    The bank denied my claim because they said it was the same device that sent other payments? it is not possible.
    was my phone cloned?

    The bank gave me the number of the person the money was sent to, I called him & he said he thought the money came from someone he sold bitcoins too, I realize he is porb lying.
    he claims he spent the money & no longer has it, & if he paid it back then he would be out 2500.00.
    He said he will explain to the bank & give then all the info he has if it will help but the bank will not even call to investigate.

    I reopened the claim but they said without documentation they will probably deny it again.
    I asked what kind of documentation can I provide but they said they did not know.
    I’m probably out 2500.00

    • The person in FL is lying and 99% guaranteed stole your money. Why? It’s simple logic. Because his excuse does not make any sense. If he sold bitcoins to someone and thought your money was payment for that, then he was ripped off by the bitcoin buyer who did not pay. It is the FL person’s responsibility to get that payment, not yours to pay it. Or, if the bitcoin buyer DID pay, then the FL person was paid twice and likewise is a thief. Either way it makes no sense and you should notify Zelle, notify your bank and notify the person in FL that you are calling the cops, both in your state and in FL. And call them! Zelle fraud has got to stop. (And while you’re making the calls, call your Congress person. If you’re on Facebook, post there, with Public visibility.

    • And ask your landlord if he has a PayPal account. Although PayPal passwords were stolen several years ago, as far as I know there’s no fraud equivalent to Zelle’s constant fraud. Paypal is the way to go. There is also TransferWise, which has not been hacked as far as I know. Talk to your landlord about changing transfer mechanisms.

    • This is crazy!! How can we catch these people receiving the money?!! Police won’t do anything!! My BOA account was hacked and a person was added to list of Zelle recipients Called her and she admitted to receiving the money and then sending it to cash app to an unknown caller. She gave me the number and when I called they admitted to receiving it! So basically we know who the thieves are and can’t do anything about it!! I

  9. I sent the guy money for products but he never sent me
    My products and the banks say they can’t do nothing because the money is gone out of the account and didn’t even open an investigation. I am filing a police report also.

  10. I had $1450.00 taken out by zelle? without my knowledge, I actually dont know what Zelle is!! The bank said to bad so sad so I am moving to another bank a posting this all over our facebooks so others are aware of what can happen!!
    This was a brand new account!!!!

  11. Someone send me a payment and alse said there was more money to give it to the people who works for her so when i got the check I noticed It was $1500 and told me to send that money to someone through zelle so i did and when I noticed the bank was charging me that money and I called them and asked them if they can get that money back, I’m not sure yet they said they will decide the investigation in 45 days but i have a feeling they’ll say i have to pay that. What can i do?

  12. Bob. Please help.
    I have sold 2 different macbooks to same guy and received the money through zelle to my bofa.
    Then, Bofa closed my account without giving any details.
    They say, the person who did the transfer later disputed it and bofa took $2.500 back from my account.
    Anything i can do about it?

  13. I read the posts people have on here. I’m also someone who was scammed out of a puppy. I thiught I was purchasing a puppy for $605 & then when they had her on a flight to me she stopped in VA & needed a better air flowing crate rented for $350 abd was 95% refundable upon delivery. Of course there was no delivery it went on to ask for $400 for pet insurance & then I knew I was scammed. I’m out $995 live paycheck to paycheck so it hurts extra. Single mother of 2 disappointed boys because there was no dog. I used Zelle to make my payments. I put in a claim with Zelle and my bank but they both said I’m likely not getting my money back. Any suggestions on what I can do to get it back?

    • My bank does not endorse Zelle so the transaction was processed as a Visa transaction. Can call fraud for Visa and threaten both Visa and your bank to go to the press. My bank successfully got my bullshit puppy deposit back after those steps.

  14. How did you get BofA to give you the phone number of the person who received your money ? They told me they don’t have that info.

  15. 4/15/2020 Some crook enrolled me in Zelle yesterday. I didn’t know till I saw the welcome email and an email about a $500 transaction. I looked at my bank account and saw an unknown phone listed in as an authorized device. I removed the rogue phone and changed my password. This morning I can no longer reach my account. It says it is locked due to repeated wrong login attempts. The recover password option fails. I suspect they changed my username. I’m into my 3rd hour on hold with my bank. Kinda worried.

  16. Someone transferred 10000$ from my BOA saving account as 6 different transactions from 9th march to 13 march by Zelle. I filled my report to BOA on 15th march and the BOA denied my claim saying I shared id and password.

    Unfortunately, when these transactions were happening I was out of states and could not catch them immediately after first.

    Please help me!!

    Regards,
    Maneesh

  17. I feel like committing suicide so frustrated with my life. My hard-earned money was stolen and the bank of America will do nothing.

    • I am happy to report that after all the details investigation finally, BOA deposited back my 10,000$ to the account. Many thanks, Bob for help this out.

    • Maneesh Namaste You can reach out. You are not alone. Suicide is not an option. I think we may have a class action here..Y

      • Oh cool I see there was justice for Maneesh :}
        Have any class actions been made against the big banking cartel /zelle?
        i just got scammed trying to get a Nintendo Switch Lite for by son..
        The Lord Guided my lil feet to this website. I will try Bob’s ideas.
        BLESS, Y

  18. We have been hacked by amazon employees.They first hacked our amazon account and then stole our debit card number and stole money from our bank account. The bank is not helping. I like to find way to get my money back. I am 72 years old. Please write to me.

  19. I was a victim of a puppy scam. I stupidly paid for the transportation of 2 puppies in the amount of $450.00. They then said I need to put a refundable deposit on some air conditioned crates. and I did to the tune of $1200. The following morning I was contacted to pay $1500 in insurance which they said is refundable. that’s when the alarm bells went off. I worked in the insurance industry and I know that insurance is not refundable. I tried to contact my bank and local authorities and both of them blew me off. I filled out the forms provided by the bank but all I got is “these is nothing they can do” I would appreciate any help or advice I can get. I have reported it to the FBI on the advise of a retired police officer friend.

  20. I got scammed back in April. I sold an item that was originally listed on eBay. The buyer sent me a message with a phone number asking if the item was still for sell which I had missed. I sent them a text and we arranged something via PayPal, which so happened turned out to be a fake PayPal. He had a problem and supposedly had a double payment pulled so I needed to send him the difference. When I tried to use PayPal it didn’t work. I received an email from a fake PayPal overseer who advised me to use a p2p payment like Zelle instead. This happened again with a penalty fee and when he accidentally put my email in the flags that were raised already were waiving in my face. So I contacted people and found out everything I had received from PayPal was indeed fake and there were really no held funds. I submitted a report with IC3 and contacted my banks and PayPal about what had happened. My banks response was simple because it was a person to person transfer sent by me they wouldn’t do anything about it. One bank I just took the hit but the other adds up to $1,850. So I opened a dispute and re-stressed that the issue was about being scammed. I didn’t have high expectations but it was at least another. I received the letter response from that stating the same thing and to take up the issue with the person who received the funds. I called them and they told me to talk to Zelle and open a dispute and follow certain steps which I can not find anywhere. I had never touched Zelle before outside using it attached to my bank account so I have no prior information on it. At this moment everything is just pointing to you got scammed and are out the money. If anyone has an idea of what to do please let me know.

  21. how do i report fake website that scam in put it out there bird for 700 i paid thru zelle it says on website to pay that way now no answer no bird no money
    https://www.samanthaparrotstore.com/faq/ then shipping people told me needed special cage in thats when i knew something was up didnt pay the extra money but lost my 700 thru zelle zelle dont answer say call bank said nothing they can do

  22. I was scammed by a fake lender asking me to send collateral payments on a loan I was approved for. I am really embarrassed to say that despite the fact that I’m usually much smarter and skeptical of obvious scams of these sorts, that day I was scammed out of $3100. I filed a police report, a zelle scam report, as well as one with my bank. At this time I doubt anyone of those will get me my money back considering they all made it clear that since I authorized the transactions, it’s hard to recover. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  23. Hi Bob,
    I am emailing you regarding a situation that happened to me while using chase zelle pay. I am looking to get your advice on this situation to see if there is anything I can do.

    I logged onto chase.com to make a transaction and I typed in the wrong username. My account said it was then locked due to an unfamiliar location and security reasons. On the chase website it said to call this 800 number to unlock my account. Well, I called the number that was on the screen of the chase webpage and it directed me to a gentleman who was posing as a chase representative who said in order to unlock my accounts for security reasons I needed to make quick pays to the chase verification team. In any other circumstances I would be wary about making these trial transactions but the number was on the chase website. Fast forward. I am out of a lot of money and chase said they can’t do anything about it because I initiated the transactions. Do you have any information for me to go about this to get my money back? I appreciate it.

  24. I was scammed by a cat breeder on Sunday July 19 2020. I paid $450 and she disappeared and didn’t answer my text and Emails. On Tuesday I called to my bank and report it then called to Zelle and report it. I want to file a claim but they told me we only can report and do nothing else. zelle told me they will investigate and can’t file dispute. can you please help me bob to get my money back?

  25. I got scammed using Zelle. I sent money to a person who stated they could retrieve my FB account after it was closed. Turned out to be a scam. Just got off the phone with Wells Fargo. It looks like I am not getting my money back. Not sure if there’s anything else I can do or if I am SOL.

    • Wells Fargo did not refund my money on that transaction. That said I authorized it and I am stuck with it even though I was scammed out of that money. I don’t get that part.

  26. I got scammed out of my last money, which my parents sent me for me to pay my rent. I was scammed by someone who told me they were from “ICE” and made some serious threats over the phone that sent into anxiety attack and from that point onwards, I wasn’t bale to think straight. I ended up transferring them $690 and then $500 and the first one didn’t go through, but it looks like the second one did, although I did receive a text from Zelle saying that it didn’t go through and it will be refunded. I wasn’t re-funded. The rent is due tomorrow and I really do not know what to do. The leasing office is not very friendly about this, although I do have a police report on hand and all evidence of me being scammed. I filed a claim with Zelle on 3 days ago and I am going to update here if their investigation will yield any results.

  27. I was scammed for $3500 through Zelle! My bank ( of america) got a text message said someone was buying an iPhone for $765 on my account call customer immediately with the 877 # provided. So I did this guy reassured me he would fix it and get my money refunded. So I did what he was telling me to do. He had me install an app on my playstore called team Viewer which I unknowingly found it makes him able to take control of my phone. I was at work when this all happened so I’m just trying to get it resolved quickly. He had me go to my Amazon then to my bank app , then I started seeing Zelle being used! I immediately hung up, uninstalled the app, and called my bank’s fraud number. Canceled my debit card, froze my checking account and changed log in info. Bank told me 10-45 days for the claim process. About 12 days later I get an email from them saying my claim is denied. There reason was my phone that I use my online banking with was used. I had explained to them he took over my phone. I’ve used Zelle maybe 4 times and it was to my family and definitely not anywhere close to the amount’s this guy did. And this guy (within 2 weeks after the scam)also tried to write 3 separate checks with my name, address and forged signature on them totaling almost $13,000! Called my bank immediately , they pretty much didn’t care because they were through my frozen account and he wasn’t able to cash them is what they told me. No it’s not alright! I can’t believe I trusted this bank with my money that I worked hard for to save. I even sent them 17 pages worth of proof. The text message, time I called the 877#, how long I was on the phone with him, time the app was installed, the info on the app, a bunch of reviews of other people that were scammed through the same app., time the Zelle payments were taken, I showed I called the bank right after I realized it was a scam. Like everything I could possibly use to show this proof. So no they still denied my claim and it’s been so upsetting and devastating to me. I’ve never been scammed before and it’s not fair I can’t have my money back that I didn’t ok to be stolen from me.

  28. hi Bob, thanks for this platform and not sure knowing I was not the only one makes me feel better for this awful situation.Actually no.it is terrible and illegal against the customer’s will.I am still pissed off by what happened on Zelle and my bank.The whole dispute process has been so exhausting from one phone line to another and being told the dispute cannot be retreated as there is no balance left on that bank account my number linked to in that month.

    I’ve been using Zelle since Aug 2019 and had transaction with my friends.Found out I didn’t receive her transaction to me during 2020 July.called our banks and Zelle, believe me, Zelle cares NOTHING.My friend’s bank refuse to dispute.She did whatever she could do but we were told that my phone number was linked to some chase bank account during the period she transfer.They said I gave the verification otherwise it would not unenroll my bank and enroll with another one.I have no right to talk to chase bank as I am not their user.Totally screwed.

    It is not that huge amount of money but still, it is a lot for me.Also It is such an awful experience to deal with this especially when its not your fault.But I dont know who to blame,I DEFINITELY rant for Zelle’s fraud act but how should I get my money back?They said I gave the authorization for enrolling with that scam chase account.But they told me I should contact the phone carrier to check or trace the verification code they send(come on!!)
    Probably I Should ask a lawyer??Totally pissed and devastated.

  29. Please help and let me know if there is anything else I can do. I was stupidly a victim of a PayPal email scam. I had listed a wedding dress for sale on Facebook and the purchaser said the money would be sent via PayPal. I received a (fake) email from PayPal saying the $500.00 was pending and gave instructions on shipping the dress (which I did, but was lucky enough to catch it in time with Fed Ex and get it returned to me). A few hours later I received another email from this fake PayPal that the money had not been credited yet, that there were technical problems and would be corrected soon. Then nearing 5:00 I received another fake PayPal email saying my limit was high enough so the purchaser sent another $500.00 so now $1,000.00 was being held for me but I needed to send $500.00 back to the purchaser via Zelle. I opened a Zelle account and ended up sending $400.00 in 2 transactions, thankfully it wouldn’t let me send the rest. Shortly thereafter I realized it was a scam but bank was closed. Tried calling PayPal but everything was automated due to Covid. Called the bank the next morning and asked that the 2 charged be returned as they were obtained under fraudulent circumstances. They said to email the details (I had emails and a phone number and names) and they would forward to their fraud department, which I did. This happened Sept 15/16. Now on Oct 6 I get an email from the bank saying nothing they can do because I did the transactions. Is there any other way to get my money back? Also, I did not see any way to “close” my Zelle account so I deleted the app and closed the debit card associated with it. Have I done enough regarding Zelle prevent any other fraudulent transactions? I will NEVER use Zelle again, ever, for anything.

  30. Bob, I too was scammed. Please tell me what I can do. So far I have reported the scam to the FBI, the DPUC and the Federal Trade Commission. Citizens Bank has refused to reimburse me. Here is my story.On Tuesday September 15, 2020, I received a phone call from a Mr. Mark Thompson who identified himself as an employee of Eversource. Mr. Thompson informed me that my Eversource bill was overdue and unless I paid my overdue balance within 30 minutes, my electricity would be disconnected. This individual knew the exact amount I owed on my Eversource bill. As a remote worker for a prestigious Research & Development organization, I certainly could not afford to have this done. Initially Mr. Thompson asked that I make this payment using the Cash App. The amount owed on my bill was $415.74 but he told me there was a finance charge to avoid shut-off so the payment would be $498.10. I had difficulty processing this payment using this application as the transaction failed 4 times. I was then transferred to a Mr. Robert Mendez who asked me if I had access to the Zelle App. I was not aware of what this application was and he stated that it is an App that some banks provide to their customers through online banking to pay bills. When he learned that my account was with Citizens Bank he said that Citizens Bank does offer Zelle to its customers. He then told me to log into my online banking account to process this payment using the Zelle App. The first transaction was processed in the amount of $498.10 but it showed up as a failed transaction. The second time he had me make a payment for $415.74 as he was only charging me what was actually due on my bill because the transaction was taking so long. Once completed, the transaction showed as pending. He told me to call him back the next day to ensure the payment went through. The next day, September 16th, I called Mr. Robert Mendez back. At that time, I alerted him that both payments were processed through Zelle. He then said he would reimburse me for $498.10 twice but that the reimbursements had to be done individually. He walked me through the process to be reimbursed for 2 payments of $498.10. Both were listed as pending. Robert told me to call him back the next day to ensure the transactions went through. The next day, September 17th, I realized that all 4 payments through Zelle went through and that the reimbursement was not a reimbursement at all but additional payments. Additionally, I also realized that 1 payment using the Cash App went through as well in the amount of $498.10. Immediately, I felt sick to my stomach and realized I had been scammed by Mr. Mark Thompson and Mr. Robert Mendez. I called Citizens Bank that day to inform them of what happened and an investigation was initiated. A few days later, I received a letter from Karen, an employee of Citizens Bank who works in the Electronic Banking Operations Department. The letter stated that Citizens Bank would not be reimbursing me for $1910.04 because they were transactions I had authorized. I called the bank immediately to speak to Karen about this but I could not reach her. Instead I spoke to an employee by the name of Devon Kite. He told me there was nothing further that could be done. Clearly, I was outraged. I feel stupid that I was fooled by these scam artists and I feel betrayed by Citizens Bank.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Here's how hackers are using Zelle to raid bank accounts; and why victim was out $1,800 until I wrote to the bank — bobsullivan.net
  2. New Zelle fraud scheme ropes in Indeed job seeker as unwitting money mule — bobsullivan.net

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