Is it safe to pay with Zelle?
We are often asked if it is safe to pay with Zelle and while it may be secure, it is dangerous to use Zelle to make payments to people you do not know. It has come to our attention that there are a growing number of scammers using Zelle to receive payment for non-delivery fraud, specifically pet scams.
One aspect of Zelle which may confuse victims is that payment can only be sent and received in the USA. It is easy to think of it as a domestic version of Moneygram or Western Union.
How do scammers overcome this? The answer is that they use “mules”, individuals living in the USA that collect payment on behalf of scammers. The mule will then either send the cash to the scammers country of origin through a bank transfer or by ordering products online. This is how these scammers can launder the dirty money. (EG: Iphones, laptops etc).
Zelle offers no protection for fraud and is not a reliable method of payment for buying products or pets with.
Please find below some anonymous victim testimonials that we have recieved:
Got scammed by netadashund using Zelle. NEVER use Zelle to buy anything. It is money transfer and there is no protection for fraud. It’s not PayPal. It’s like western union. The name used was victor martinov
I addition to my previous post, the website was https://zeraminidachshunds.com/available-puppies
The email : email@example.com
Sent money through the recommended app Zelle, to firstname.lastname@example.org
They got us for $675.00 i searched all possible websites i could and found nothing wrong with the company, the website did not throw red flags up. I even asked them to send additional pictures through text message. 240-467-4944. Our email communications with email@example.comKenzo Mil seemed pretty normal and standard. They had a contract we needed to sign, so ownership papers could be transfered. I was a bit bumped when when they asked us to send the money western union or money gram or zelle but they were able to put my mind at ease. The phone number pulled up in Baltimore MD. The name Njokem Gladstone. It wasn’t until the shipping company contacted me that all the issues and red flags screamed so loud. firstname.lastname@example.org they asked for $1800 for a temperature controled crate. 98% would be refunded once they received the crate back. The company website was down for maintenance, and when I asked about what weather system was making it nessasary to have a temperature controled crate. They would not respond.
Identity was stolen and found Zelle transfer from my bank to a Nadege Nancy at 5pm while I’m away on vacation. Called BOA but it was after hours going to call back in the morning. Freaking out bc someone has my home laptop. The phone number with the zellebtransfer is the same as above. Called and a man asked me to use email@example.com to send a request. WTF?
What do Zelle say about scammers abusing their system?
Zelle even warns users on their website that the service should not be used to make payments to people you do not know:
Zelle does not offer a protection program for authorized payments made through the service. So if you aren’t sure you will get what you paid for, you should use another payment method with purchase protection, such as a credit card. Or play it super safe: don’t proceed with the transaction at all.