How to get your money back from a Zelle scam.

If your money is stolen from your bank or credit union through a Zelle scam, then the first thing the law requires is that you dispute the transaction with your bank or credit union. Whether it is PNC Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo, each of these banks has access to Zelle and has a dispute process that consumers can use.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has clarified that the Electronic Fund Transfer Act applies to the Zelle app and Zelle users. Under this law, you have 60 days to dispute the transaction with the bank, and if it’s an unauthorized transaction, then the consumer should be able to get their money back. Make sure that you reach out to the fraud department at the bank, but any employee will be sufficient.

As Zelle fraud and scams have grown on the Zelle app, banks have been reluctant to refund customers.

Despite receiving valid disputes from consumers saying that they did not send money from their financial institution, these financial institutions are still not refunding the money. If a transaction is unauthorized, then big banks are required to refund the money as long as the notice was done properly. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office has sounded the alarm on financial institutions’ bad behavior and recently reported that Zelle has been rampant with fraud.

What types of Zelle Scams are there?

There are many types of scams. According to DataVisor, the most common involves deception by phishing, social engineering, or impersonation. The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (each are a government agency designed to help consumers) have warned about several types of scams. In one scam the fraudsters will call pretending to be a financial institution and with that, trick the consumer into giving the scammer the username and password to the account. This is also called a phishing scam. Once in, the fraudster will begin to make fraudulent transactions to send money out of the consumer’s account.

How do I use Zelle safely?

Never send money to anyone that you do not. If an alleged financial institution is telling you to Zelle money to yourself to negate a fraudulent transaction, then it is probably a fraudster trying to commit identity theft. If you find yourself in this situation, hang up the phone and call the number on your debit card.

Can I get a refund if I’ve been the Victim of a Zelle Scam?

The answer is maybe. If a fraudster got access to your bank account and sends the money, then you have a good chance to get your money back. However, under the current version of federal law, if the thief convinces you to send the money yourself, then the Zelle scam transfer does not meet the definition of unauthorized transactions. Even if you sent money to the wrong person by accident, the current version of the law does not view that as being an unauthorized transaction.

Scammed by a childhood “friend” on Zelle

Even if a childhood friend scams you through their money transfer apps, then you can still get your money back from credit unions or financial institutions.

How To Secure Your Zelle Account Against Scammers

The best way to secure your Zelle app from scammers is to never Zelle anyone that you don’t know, even if they claim that you are sending money through Zelle to yourself.

How to Avoid a Mistaken Transfer on Zelle

Be careful before sending money. Make sure that the receiver of the money is the person that you intend to send the money too.

Report and Block the Zelle Scammer

Once you discover that the payment was unauthorized, it is vital that you report the online fraud so that the bank can block the fraudulent Zelle account. This way consumers in the future will not be making payments to this fraudulent account.

Does Regulation E apply to a Fraudulent Transaction?

Yes, these fraud transactions can be considered as unauthorized transactions, but sometimes fraudulent activity might still not meet the definition of unauthorized under the statute. As the law exists right now, if a consumer is tricked into sending the money themselves, then this does not amount to an unauthorized transaction.

Can I get my Money Back from Other Online Transfer Systems?

Not only does Regulation E protect you from unauthorized transactions from your Zelle account, but it also protects consumers from when money is sent out of their bank account through Cash App, Venmo, and Paypal.

If you have been a victim of a Zelle scam and need assistance in getting your money back, don’t hesitate to take action. The consumer protection attorneys at Barthel Legal, APC, are here to help you navigate the process and hold financial institutions accountable for their actions. Our experienced lawyers understand the complexities of Zelle scams and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the refund you deserve. Contact Barthel Legal today to schedule a free case evaluation and take the first step toward reclaiming your funds from Zelle scams and other online transfer systems.