Ashley Rowan
Ashley Rowan
October 9th, 2023

What is Zelle Scam and How to Avoid It

As digital banking services become more prevalent, they are accompanied by a rise in cyber scams. Zelle, a widely used digital payment service that allows for quick and easy money transfers between bank accounts, has unfortunately become a target for scammers. In this article, we'll explore what the Zelle scam is and how to avoid falling victim to it.

What is the Zelle Scam?

Zelle scams are fraudulent schemes where scammers manipulate the Zelle payment system to their advantage. Here are a few common variations:

  1. Phishing attempts: Scammers send emails or text messages that appear to be from Zelle or your bank. These messages may claim that there's a problem with your account and instruct you to click on a link. Once clicked, you're directed to a fake website that looks legitimate, where they can steal your login credentials.
  2. Fake sales: This often happens in online marketplaces. A scammer might claim they only accept Zelle as payment for an item. After you send the money, they disappear without shipping the item.
  3. Impersonation: A scammer might pretend to be someone you know, like a friend or family member, and ask you to send money via Zelle for an 'emergency'.

How to Avoid Zelle Scams

  1. Lookup phone numbers: Use NumLookup's reverse phone lookup to make sure the phone number belongs to the same person the person is claiming to be.
  2. Verify transactions: Before sending money via Zelle, always double-check the recipient's details. If it's someone you know, call or text them using a number you already have (not the one from the suspicious message) to confirm they indeed sent the request.
  3. Be skeptical: Avoid sending money to people you don't know. If someone insists on using Zelle for a transaction, especially in an online marketplace, treat it as a red flag.
  4. Use strong authentication: Make sure to use strong, unique passwords for your bank account and the email associated with your Zelle account. Where possible, enable two-factor authentication.
  5. Don't click on suspicious links: If you receive an unsolicited email or text message that appears to be from Zelle or your bank, avoid clicking on any links or downloading any attachments. Instead, visit your bank's official website or use their official app.
  6. Stay informed: Banks and Zelle often update their security measures and offer guidelines to avoid scams. Stay updated by periodically checking their official resources.
  7. Report any suspicious activity: If you suspect that you've received a scam attempt, report it to your bank and Zelle immediately. This can help prevent others from falling victim.

The digital age offers unmatched convenience in many realms, including banking and peer-to-peer transactions. However, this convenience is often accompanied by increased risks. By staying vigilant and informed, users can continue to enjoy the benefits of services like Zelle while avoiding potential pitfalls. Always prioritize your safety and use digital platforms wisely.