Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Zelle...little Heads Up

Super Contributor

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

@TheRedHat wrote:

Saw two missed phone calls from the same number back-to-back. Attempted to call back and they answered and said the whole "I don't know, you called me" spiel. Then I just hung up and never called back.

Being you did call remember that whoever you called probably got your name and phone number.  Just keep a close eye on things....not trying to scare you but if you can be proactive then be proactive to err of the side of caution. 

"My Take Home Pay Don't Take Me Home"
Message 21 of 33
Regular Contributor

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

From cfpb website. Sounds like if you authorized the transaction your sol but if a hacker gets into your account it should be covered.

Message 22 of 33
Valued Contributor

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

@GApeachy, this sounds awful! I'm sorry your friend is going through this. Thank you for posting about it. 


Here's a non-paywalled article about how some of these Zelle scams work:


The key part says: "Consumers who suffer unauthorized transactions are entitled to Regulation E protection, and banks are required to refund the stolen money. This isn’t a controversial opinion, and it was recently affirmed by the CFPB here. If you are reading this story and fighting with your bank, start by providing that link to the financial institution."


If that doesn't help, here's how the article suggests getting the CFPB involved: "Anyone interested in letting the CFPB know about a fraud scam that abused a P2P payment platform like Zelle, Cashapp, or Venmo, for example, should send an email describing the incident to Be sure to include Docket No. CFPB-2021-0017 in the subject line of the message."


Good luck to your friend! I hope this gets straightened out. 

Message 23 of 33
Valued Contributor

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

@DaveInAZ wrote:

@tcbofade wrote:

I understand that Zelle is not responsible... but the funds were on deposit with Wells Fargo.


...doesn't that mean that the funds are secured by the FDIC?

Well, somebody sure as heck needs to be repsonsible, the person was a victim of fraud. And if Zelle says "Zelle® does not offer a protection program for authorized payments", those clearly were NOT "authorized payments". 


I tried Zelle once and didn't like it, sending money via a mobile # to me is just asking for problems, and now with SIM swap fraud???. I was pretty sure the one time I tried was when Bank of America offered me a $10 bonus to use it. So I logged into my BoA account and found it. Then I found a terms of service which had a a "I do not agree" button which disabled it. Good riddance. 

The short answer is the victim of the scam sure as heck is responsible. Falling for scams isn't what the FDIC insures against;  it's meant for bank failures, data breaches, and other actions completely outside of the victim's control. As much as it can suck, the victim in every single scam has to do something to allow the scammer to steal money, even if it's under the pretense of doing something else. Authorizing a transaction (or worse, access to an account) that one later realizes was for fraudulent purposes doesn't change the fact they still authorized that transaction or access.

Message 24 of 33
Valued Contributor

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

I have read the articles, and I think I have a general, but imperfect, understanding of how this scam and its variations work. I have an idea for how to protect against it and I would like to know what other people think. If I proactively associate my phone number in Zelle with a bank account I control (I would use one with a small balance), would that prevent scammers from being able to associate my phone number with a different account they control?

Message 25 of 33

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

Online P2P platforms like Zelle (or also Venmo) continue to be a big risk for fraud. A family member of mine was also conned through a so-called social scam (i.e. pretending to be someone else). I'd say 2FA is a must for any of these things but it's hard to combat the social fraud element for those who easily trust others. Read a WSJ article in 2020 saying that PayPal/Venmo even sends debt collection agencies after conned customers without much compassion.

FICO8: EX 723 / TU 726
CC: BofA Travel Rewards $2,200 / Amex Delta Gold $3,000 / Chase Freedom Unlimited $1,000 / Apple Card $3,500 / Amex Platinum NPSL / Amex Hilton Surpass $15,000
Message 26 of 33

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

@tcbofade wrote:

@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

@tcbofade wrote:

I understand that Zelle is not responsible... but the funds were on deposit with Wells Fargo.


...doesn't that mean that the funds are secured by the FDIC?

Here's an article on the subject. Wells Fargo is the bank mentioned. It explains the bank's reasoning behind not reimbursing victims.

Can't see the article... there's a pay wall.


Maybe I should Zelle them some cash?


The banks reasoning is simply that they don't want to lose the money either.  If the funds were in a deposit account with any financial institution insured by the FDIC or NCUA and the funds were taken fraudulently, then the FI IS responsible.


If the victim authorized the transaction and got scammed, that's another ball of wax.

Your last sentence pretty much sums it up... it wasn't a bank failure/oversight, it was a victim who was duped.


I've seen reports where people who had never heard of Zelle were scammed due to no fault of their own (their accounts were linked to a scammer's stand-alone Zelle app) and they were made whole, but in cases where a scammer uses social enginering to get someone to willingly send money unfortunately there's little recourse.  As lousy as it is for the victim, it's on them.


I especially feel bad for older people who might not be "up" on the latest scams and who might be trusting of the caller ID info on their phone. 


I use Zelle at two banks and a CU to send money to others (and sometimes myself) and I've never had a problem, actually for me it's a big time-saver. 

Message 27 of 33
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

Message 28 of 33
Regular Contributor

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

I admittingly have not read all the reply's to this thread.  But I will say from what I've read in the OP's post, I believe this stemmed from a text message, and a response to it.  This has been an extensive issue with myself as of late.  I have been getting several text messages such as "your account ending in XXXX, has been temporarily suspended.  Please contact us at xxx-xxx-xxxx"  And the most recent one was from a (or suggested) a CU in Florida.  Then... my phone started blowing up looking for someone, using a name I think I falsly used to sign up for a website many years ago.  These were collection type calls, so I started playing along to try to get some background on the agency (or not) that was the culprit.  Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and resulted in a tirade of expletives on my behalf, to soon follow with several from said caller. 


I placed a call to the CU that supposedly sent the text message to my phone to get to the bottom of things.  And here's what I found out....  There is no one with that name, or mine as an account holder

The number in the text message to call back was not one of said CU

I have since gotten a "black web" notification that my phone number has been compromised.  This is not the first time I have received this notification. 


Just my take on the situation.  Hopefully this will help someone to reconsider responding to text messages seemingly coming from financial institutions.

Starting Score: 547EX
Current Score: 682EX 687EQ 687TU
Goal Score: 750

Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge
Message 29 of 33
Established Contributor

Re: Zelle...little Heads Up

@GApeachy wrote:

@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

Sorry, misread. You typically need access to the account to send money.

Yes and after reading about some of the scams happening recently the text message may have been the scam.  She may have given access via that text message...perhaps?  She did reply to that text message but by the time she had a human on the phone from WF there had been 3 transaction and it was too late.  Maybe WF does not send text messages about Zelle transfers to being perhaps that's key. (the SCAM) 

I'll try to get more info. as to what she did exactly...if she did more than just reply 'NO' before calling the WF Fraud Dept.

I bank ( mostly) with WF. They do send text messages about zelle deposits. I have never sent money by zelle, so don't know what they do on that end.

Message 30 of 33
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.