Zelle Facebook Marketplace Scam: How to Recognize and Avoid It

zelle facebook marketplace scam

Zelle Facebook Marketplace Scam: How It Works

Watch out for a new fraudulent activity called the Zelle Facebook Marketplace scam.

There is no secret that Facebook Marketplace has become a popular platform for buying and selling items. Unfortunately, it has also become a target for scammers. One of the most common scams on Facebook Marketplace involves the use of Zelle, the peer-to-peer money transfer service, which has almost 50 million active users.

We expose many Zelle scams on our platform, but here’s how this one works and how you can avoid it.

facebook marketplace zelle scams

A buyer contacts a seller through Facebook Marketplace messenger, requesting to buy the item and pay using Zelle. If the seller agrees, the buyer asks for the seller’s email to send the payment, but the buyer does not. The buyer sends a fake email to the seller that appears to be from Zelle.

The email states that the buyer paid using a Zelle business account and that the seller must also upgrade to a Zelle business account to receive payment for a fee of a few hundred dollars.

The buyer then contacts the seller directly, claiming that they received the upgrade email from Zelle and that the seller must upgrade to receive payment.

Watch the video below to see how the Zelle Facebook Marketplace Scam happens:

How to Avoid the Zelle Facebook Marketplace Scam

Be wary of buyers who contact you through Facebook Marketplace messenger and request to pay using Zelle. Do not provide your email address to buyers who request to pay using Zelle.

If you receive an email from Zelle requesting that you upgrade to a business account, do not click on any links or provide any personal information.

If you receive an email from Zelle that appears to be fake, contact Zelle customer support to report the scam. Only accept payment through Facebook Marketplace or other secure payment methods.

What Is Zelle

Zelle is a popular and widely used digital payment platform in the United States. It offers a seamless and efficient way for users to send and receive money electronically. Launched in 2017, Zelle has quickly become a prominent player in the financial technology (fintech) field. It provides a secure and convenient alternative to traditional cash and check transactions.

One of the standout features of Zelle is its ability to facilitate real-time peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions between individuals, friends, family members, and even businesses. Users can link their bank accounts to the Zelle app or access it through their bank’s mobile banking application. This way, it allows a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Zelle operates on a simple premise: Users can send money to anyone with an email address or mobile phone number, provided the recipient also has a Zelle account. This straightforward process eliminates the need for cash or checks and minimizes the time for funds to transfer. With Zelle, users can split bills, pay rent, reimburse friends, and conduct various financial transactions swiftly and securely.

Security is a massive concern for Zelle, and the platform employs advanced encryption and authentication protocols to safeguard users’ financial information. Zelle transactions are typically irreversible once initiated, reducing the risk of chargebacks and disputes. However, users should exercise caution and only transact with individuals or entities they trust to avoid potential scams or fraudulent activities.

As the fintech sector evolves, Zelle’s impact on how people manage their money and make payments remains significant.

Other Facebook Marketplace Scams

Zelle scams are not the only scams on Facebook Marketplace. Other common scams include:

Overpaying for an item: Scammers will offer to pay more than the listed price and then ask the seller to refund the difference.

Fake check scams: Scammers will send a fake check for more than the listed price of an item and then ask the seller to refund the difference.

Shipping scams: Scammers will ask the seller to ship an item and then claim that they never received it.

Be cautious when buying or selling items on Facebook Marketplace to avoid these scams. Always use secure payment methods and be wary of buyers who offer to pay more than the listed price or ask for personal information.

The Zelle Facebook Marketplace scam is a common scam that can result in the loss of hundreds of dollars. By being aware of the fraud and following the tips outlined above, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of this scam and other Facebook Marketplace scams.

How To Report A Zelle Facebook Marketplace Scammer

Let your close family and online friends know about the Zelle Facebook Marketplace scam. 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:

Report To The FTC Here

How To Protect Yourself More

If you want to be amongst the first to receive more notifications about new scams every week, subscribe to our Scam Detector newsletter. You will receive periodic emails from us with insightful tips to stay safe. That will include how to prevent fraud and information about the newest tools you can use to fight crime.

Meanwhile, feel free to educate yourself with some other Zelle 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 Zelle or Facebook scammers.

Zelle Business Account Scams

Money Sent on Venmo/Zelle Accidentally Scam

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

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