Is it safe to pay with Zelle for your pet? – exercise extreme caution!

July 20, 2019
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13 Comments

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 : zeradachshunds@gmail.com
Sent money through the recommended app Zelle, to borshansky476@gmail.com

 

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 americanp444@gmail.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. skyline-al-mover1980@usa.com 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 ninantan240@gmail.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.

What to do next?

As well as reporting this to the Registrar it is very important to report this crime to your local Law Enforcment. We have compiled a list of Law Enforcement agencies worldwide.You can find a link (here) as well as reporting wire fraud using money transfer agencies (here).

If you live in the US it is important to report this scam to the BBB. Click here to see why. As well as the Better Business Bureau you should report this crime to the Federal Trade Commission. See Here

13 Responses

  1. We were scammed today in getting 2 puppies we sent them money through zelle then they came back and asked for more that would be refunded once the puppies were delivered in a special crate. The people advertising the puppies is jenniferozbim21@gmail.com the phone number they used was 940-242-1953. The shipping company was pacificfreightcourier. The website looks legitimate but it is not his phone number is 410-635-0249 and his email address besides infi@pacificfreightcourier.com is jketi2014@gmail.com

    Reply
  2. Found a scammer. I know they’re a scammer because they only accept Zelle or Western union. They said I couldn’t pay any other way. I wanted to buy a puppy, they offered for only $500, really cute. But I’m glad I googled it and found out that I’m pretty sure they’re scamming. the site is fancyminischnauzers.com. Pretty discouraging that people scam other people

    Reply
  3. I was scammed by http://www.sweetfrenchbulldogspuppies.com using Zelle payment. Once the dog is paid for the seller will delay shipping info during the clearing process for funds. Once the funds are clear the seller will not deliver the dog or provide a refund. You’re scammed with no recourse!

    Reply
    • Hi Chris – I would recommend getting in touch with the police about this. Zelle is quite unique in that it requires a “mule” (accomplice) of the scammer to be living in the USA (the actual scammer will be living in Cameroon). If you can provide the information to the police and the zelle details, they might be able to followup with the mule.

      Reply
  4. If I offered Zelle as a payment option I would include a short paragraph on what you offer as proof to show you are trustworthy. (Facetime, Video chat etc)
    I would send Zelle to you Vicki 😉

    Reply
  5. You can consider Zelle to be the same as “httpS” on a website. It does mean that the website is safe only because your communications are encrypted. Scammers use httpS to “prove” that there site is safe.
    In the same way, Zelle is safe ONLY when you trust the receiver.
    If a breeder were to facetime me with the puppy I wanted to buy then I could trust them.
    The article is written to show how scammers abuse Zelle, not how Zelle is abusive.

    Reply
  6. I contacted zelle About animal sales and they considered it a risk purchase not covered.. We use zelle to accept credit cards and debit.. Is this not considered safe as well?

    Reply
    • You can consider Zelle to be the same as “httpS” on a website. It does mean that the website is safe only because your communications are encrypted. Scammers use httpS to “prove” that there site is safe.
      In the same way, Zelle is safe ONLY when you trust the receiver.
      If a breeder were to facetime me with the puppy I wanted to buy then I could trust them.
      The article is written to show how scammers abuse Zelle, not how Zelle is abusive.

      Reply
    • If I offered Zelle as a payment option I would include a short paragraph on what you offer as proof to show you are trustworthy. (Facetime, Video chat etc)
      I would send Zelle to you Vicki 😉

      Reply

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