The Zelle banking app. A recent scam with this app allows criminals to obtain money fraudulently, and the banks are not required to protect the consumers from stolen funds. The scam works with the app notifying customers via text to alert them of potential fraud and confirm if they requested the Zelle transfer. Then the customer receives a phone call from what they assume is their bank to discuss this potential fraud. As part of the con, the scammer will use technology to spoof the phone number and make it appear as your bank calling. The customer is now unknowingly speaking with the scammer, not the bank representative, as assumed, and they provide personal information. The criminal has what they need to access the funds via Zelle and make a withdrawal. The victims in these situations are all the customers that use payment apps like Zelle, Venmo, or Cash App to transfer money to others, such as family, friends, or businesses, for payment. Unfortunately, the bank offers no fraud protection when using third-party apps. These scams differ from someone stealing funds directly from your bank or making unknown purchases, where the bank will refund the stolen money. Since fraud occurs through the Zelle app, the fraud protection banks offer does not apply. In this day and age, with all the technology available, I find it challenging to prevent such scams from continuing to evolve and for consumers to keep up with how to protect themselves. However, I believe people can take some steps to avoid this. The suggestion in the article I read was to deactivate Zelle accounts associated with their bank (Lincoln, 1). I would also recommend calling the banks or credit card companies directly if you receive a text or email. Even if someone calls you from the bank to discuss potential fraud, I suggest telling them you will call back. At least then, you can contact your bank from a number you know is legit or, even better, stop at the bank to speak with someone in person. Discovering this new scam and learning about how banks are not protecting consumers has made me think differently about supporting third-party payment apps, especially Zelle. It has prompted me to assess the apps I have directly connected to my bank accounts and any actions I need to take to prevent the linkage and hopefully protect myself from fraud.
Ashli Lincoln, WSB-TV. March 22, 2022. Consumer advocates say that customers scammed on the Zelle banking app have virtually no fraud protection. https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/customers-scammed- Zelle-banking-app-have-virtually-no-fraud-protection-consumer-advocates say/KKSK5LIOWVD47PF2UPTR4IMXSA/
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Share a recent or current event in which a business or government failed to protect consumers.
What were the failures? Who were the victims? What can or could be done to prevent such failures in the future? Do your findings change how you will support the company in the future?
You are encouraged to share resources that introduce or illuminate the event.
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