Article written by:
Maria Nobile
Forensic & Dispute Advisory Staff

Many of us have started to use payment applications such as Venmo and Zelle as a means for convenience and speed. These applications are also trusted by users because they are backed by well-known banks. However, has the nature of these applications provided a new opportunity for professional scammers?

“NBC News talked to several consumers who said hackers stole anywhere from $190 to $6,400 from their bank accounts using Zelle” (NBC News). One consumer described how she had received a call from an unknown number and believed the caller to be her bank. They alerted her of fraud and needed to verify her identity through a verification code, which she provided. Within a couple of hours, the scammers had access to her bank account and misappropriated $1,500.

Fraud continues to evolve and fraudsters are only becoming more savvy and professional. Data is also no longer just within “4 walls” but a complex cloud. Today’s complex digital enterprises are increasingly vulnerable to cyber frauds that are difficult to detect using conventional means. Simply put, “the quicker the transaction is, the quicker a criminal can steal” (NBC News).

You don’t have to be a Zelle user to be affected by the scam since the application is embedded with banking applications. However, you can still protect yourself by remaining diligent and proactive against this new age of fraudsters.

Tips to Protect Yourself:

  • Enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Don’t provide any personal information to anyone who calls or emails you if it seems out of the ordinary. Instead, call your trusted bank to confirm the information first.
  • Sign up for text or email alerts offered by your bank accounts and credit cards to warn of suspicious activity, “card not present” transactions or other available alerts on your accounts.
  • Contact your bank immediately if you suspect fraud.
  • Read the terms and conditions and weigh any costs.
  • Don’t use the same password across all sites.


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