In a world where everything is instantaneous, sending and receiving money through platforms like Zelle is a constant. This application is one of the most used worldwide, thanks to its friendly interface and also for offering an efficient service wherever you pay.
Generally, Zelle does not take long to transfer money. Many users claim that Zelle is better than CashApp and therefore wonder if you can use Zelle without a bank account. The latter can be tricky, but that’s another issue.
Now, despite its popularity, many users do not know the correct use of Zelle; so they do not know what to do in case they are victims of fraud or what actions to take if they receive money from someone they do not know. Yes, it is safe to receive money, but have you thought about whether you are being scammed or how they got your data?
What if I received a Zelle payment from an unknown person?
If a person you do not know has the data associated with your Zelle account, either the email address or the U.S. mobile number, you will be able to receive a transaction within minutes. However, it would be ideal if you reported to the customer service of the application and bank if this person contacts you after you have received the payment.
To report directly to Zelle, you should do so by calling 1-844-428-8542. Then, visit your bank’s official website and make the report as well. In some cases, receiving money from someone you don’t know can be a way to scam you or involve you in fraud, so it is best to report directly to the official numbers of Zelle and the bank of the associated account.
It is important to take into consideration that within the Zelle platform, it is not possible to cancel transactions. This is only possible if the person receiving the payment does not have a user on this payment platform.
What should I do if I sell a product or offer my professional services to a stranger?
If you sold a product or offer a service, you will have the opportunity to receive payment instantly from those who buy or hire you. In these cases, it is advisable that you always verify the information they give you, as this will prevent them from paying you less than agreed or, simply, not paying you at all.
Likewise, never make the delivery without having received the payment first, this way you will avoid being scammed. A good option to prevent this situation is to meet the buyer in a public place, so you can have the item delivered right after he pays you. In this case, it is better if you are accompanied.
If, on the other hand, you offer a service, you can reach an agreement with the person who hires you. If you have doubts, you can use another platform similar to Zelle, which seems more secure and efficient when it comes to reporting theft or fraud.
Can I get scammed if someone pays me on Zelle?
One of the reasons why Zelle has become such a popular service is that you don’t have to do anything to receive money. You just have to be registered on its platform and that’s it, you will be enjoying all the benefits it offers.
However, there are people who engage in bad practices and take advantage of others to get money by harming them. If you received money from someone you don’t know and you are not selling products or offering services, they have probably accessed your Zelle information illegally.
In addition, as the number of Zelle users increases, the higher the rate of fraud will be. Therefore, currently, there are multiple ways to scam a user, and receiving transfers from someone you don’t know is one of them.
In these cases, most likely, the sender will ask you to return the money and if you agree to do so without reporting the situation first, the scammer will find a way to cancel the payment he made to you and receive what you sent him. That way he will be able to leave you without funds.
Can I avoid getting scammed by someone else?
To avoid this type of situation it is ideal that you familiarize yourself with the security tools that your trusted bank and Zelle offer you. You could also take into consideration the following actions:
- Never post your banking information on social networks or forums
- Activate two-step verification
- Use a password with high-security standards
- Tear off an authenticator app
- Never pay or transfer if you are connected to a public wifi network
- Enroll your email only to official accounts and pages
The last tip, and perhaps one of the most important, is always to make sure that the person calling or emailing you is an official representative of your bank or Zelle. In case they ask you for information, check the numbers that are published on official pages or the back of your debit card, as the case may be.
No matter how many pages it has, read the terms and conditions
Both on the official Zelle website and in the terms and conditions document, you will always find the phrase “The Zelle payment service is intended to send money to friends, family, and others you trust”. Therefore, you must be aware to whom you are sending the money or who the sender is. And this applies not only to Zelle but also to other peer-to-peer platforms.
In the case of these payment methods, within the Terms and Conditions document you will find a clause in the Payment Authorization and Payment Remittance section that states the following:
“We will make a reasonable effort to stop or recover a payment made to the wrong person or entity once informed, but we do not guarantee such stoppage or recovery and will bear no responsibility or liability for damages resulting from incorrect information entered by the Sender or Receiver.”
That is why you should read carefully and thoroughly the legal documents of the services to which you associate or subscribe; because once you accept, you will be implying that you agree with what it says, even if you did not read it. This will save you future worries and headaches. No matter how long it is, read it!
“Can I Cancel a Payment?” Zelle® | A Fast and Easy Way to Send and Receive Money, https://www.zellepay.com/faq/can-i-cancel-payment
Healey. “Zelle Scams: What to Watch for and How to Respond – Los Angeles Times.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2022, https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2022-10-07/zelle-banks-may-not-cover-the-losses-from-scams
“Is It Safe to Accept Zelle Payment from Strangers? – Quora.” Quora, https://www.quora.com/Is-it-safe-to-accept-Zelle-payment-from-strangers
“Report a Scam | Zelle.” Zelle® | A Fast and Easy Way to Send and Receive Money, https://www.zellepay.com/support/report-scam#:~:text=If%20you%20are%20enrolled%20with,-844-428-8542.&text=Select%20a%20category%20that%20best,transaction%20to%20complete%20the%20form
“Resources & Tips for Safe Payments | Zelle.” Zelle® | A Fast and Easy Way to Send and Receive Money, https://www.zellepay.com/financial-education/pay-it-safe/resources-tips-safe-payments
“Zelle® | A Fast and Easy Way to Send and Receive Money.” Zelle, https://www.zellepay.com/#:~:text=I%20receive%20it%3F-,Someone%20sent%20me%20money%20with%20Zelle®%2C%20how%20do%20I,profile%2C%20typically%20within%20minutes1