Zelle Business Account Scams: How They Work
As the popularity of Zelle continues to grow, so do the instances of fraud associated with the peer-to-peer payment platform. Business accounts are especially vulnerable to these financial scams, as they often involve considerable sums of money and less personal relationships between parties. In this article, we’ll deeply dive into Zelle business account scams, their various forms, and how to prevent them.
What is Zelle, and why is it so easy for scammers to be successful?
Zelle is a digital payment service that allows users to send and receive money through their bank accounts with just a few taps on their smartphone or computer. Unlike other payment services like Venmo or PayPal, Zelle is directly linked to users’ bank accounts, so money is instantly transferred without an intermediary. While this feature has made Zelle a popular choice for fast and easy payments, it has also made it a prime target for scammers looking to exploit its vulnerabilities. Let’s dive in.
3 Types of Zelle Business Account Scams
Zelle business account scams can take on many forms. Still, they all involve the same basic premise: a scammer gains access to a business’s Zelle account and transfers money without authorization. Here are a few of the most common variations of Zelle business account scams:
1. Account Takeover Scams
Account takeover scams involve using stolen login credentials to gain access to a business’s Zelle account. This can happen if a business owner or employee uses the same login credentials for multiple accounts, and one of those accounts is compromised. The scammer can then use the stolen login credentials to log into the Zelle account and transfer money out of it.
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2. Social Engineering Scams
Social engineering scams involve psychological manipulation to trick business owners or employees into giving away their login credentials. For example, a scammer might call a business and pose as a Zelle customer service agent. He claims that there has been suspicious activity on the business’s account and asking the victim to provide their login credentials to verify their identity. Once the scammer has these details, they can log into the Zelle account and transfer money out of it.
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3. Phishing Scams
Phishing scams involve the use of fake emails or text messages to trick a business owner or employee into giving away their login credentials for their Zelle account. The scammer may pose as a bank representative or a Zelle customer service agent and ask the victim to provide their username and password to verify their account information. Once the scammer has these details, they can log into the Zelle account and transfer money out of it.
Preventing Zelle Business Account Scams
Preventing Zelle business account scams requires a combination of awareness, education, and technology. Here are some steps that businesses can take to protect themselves:
The first step in preventing Zelle business account scams is to educate employees about the various forms that these scams can take. Employees should be aware of the risks associated with phishing, social engineering, and account takeover scams and should be trained on how to identify and avoid them.
Implement Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication adds a layer of security to a Zelle account by requiring a second form of identification. This could be a code sent via text message or email and the user’s login credentials. This can help prevent account takeover scams by making it more difficult for a scammer to gain access to a Zelle account even if they have the login credentials.
Use Strong Passwords
Using strong, unique passwords for each account can help prevent account takeover scams. Passwords should be at least eight characters long and include a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Monitor Account Activity
Monitoring a Zelle account for suspicious activity can help detect and prevent fraud.
How To Report a Zelle Scam
Let your close family and online friends know about these Zelle business account scams. Feel free to share this article if it was helpful. Meanwhile, you can report scammers and any other suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the portal below:
How To Protect Yourself More
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Meanwhile, feel free to educate yourself with some other financial fraud-related articles. They are listed under this paragraph, so that you know more about online security. Last but not least, if you have any bad experiences, make sure to use the comments section below to expose other scammers.
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