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Pay It Safe With Zelle®

  • Online Banking
  • Security
  • December 2021
  • Premier America
While Zelle is the easy way to pay friends, family, and people you trust, fraudsters frequently target Zelle. A popular fraudster scheme is to trick Zelle users into thinking they are transferring funds to themselves under the guise that it will replace funds originally stolen from their account. However, the Zelle transfers ultimately go to the fraudsters!

Here’s How the Scam Works:

1. A fraudster sends a text alert that appears to be from the Zelle user’s financial institution (FI), indicating that a large dollar transfer was made with Zelle.

2. The fraudster then calls from a spoofed phone number, appearing as the FI fraud department, and tells the Zelle user that the supposed fraudulent transfer went through, but the funds can be recovered.

3. The fraudster tells the Zelle user that they may transfer the funds back to their own account, but they must first remove the mobile number associated with their Zelle payment account and then re-link the mobile number.

4. Once the Zelle user removes their mobile number from their Zelle account, the fraudster actually links the Zelle user’s mobile number to their own account. A Zelle verification code is then generated and sent to the Zelle user to link their mobile number with what they believe is their own account.

5. The fraudster then requests that the Zelle user provide them with the verification code. Once provided, the fraudster enters the code to link the mobile number to their own Zelle account.

6. The Zelle user is then instructed to send themselves the funds that were originally reported to have been stolen. In doing so, the Zelle user is actually transferring the funds to the fraudster’s Zelle account that is now linked to the Zelle user’s mobile number.

Here's How to Avoid Being a Victim:

  • Never share a Zelle verification code with anyone. Premier America and other FIs will never contact you to request that you provide a Zelle verification code to them.
  • Be wary of texts or calls appearing to come from the credit union or another FI. Phone numbers can easily be spoofed.
  • Never use Zelle to transfer funds to yourself.
  • If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a Zelle payment, contact the credit union directly using only the contact information published online at PremierAmerica.com.
  • If you receive a text or an email containing a Zelle verification code, and you did not request it, call the credit union immediately to report the incident.
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