Monday, December 13, 2021

SCAM ALERT: Pennsylvania State Police Warn Residents About "Zelle Scam"

The Pennsylvania State Police have issued a Community Awareness Bulletin in regards to a new scam they are calling the "Zelle Scam".

The scam is in reference to peer to peer payment apps like Zelle, Venmo, and Cashapp.  Zelle is mentioned in particular because the service is offered by many financial institutions that allow people to send money to customers other than banks.

Police say in the scam, the fraudster sends a text message claiming to be from a bank's fraud department stating that the victim had a suspicious payment through Zelle asking the victim to verify the transfer.  If the victim responds to the text, the fraudster calls the victim claiming to be from the bank's fraud department and asks for their username to "verify their identity".

The fraudster than asks for additional information, including notifying the victim that they will be receiving a one-time code to their phone and possible notification from Zelle.  The notifications from Zelle are legit, but the fraudster is actually walking the victim through resetting their accounts password.  Once inside, the fraudster can clear out the victim's bank account.

Anyone who may have fallen victim to a scam like this is asked to contact their local police department.