As the use of the Dollars grows, apps that facilitate the transfer and exchange of this currency become a den for fraudsters. One such app is the Zelle app. Common scams range from the simulation of personal identity to deceive foreign exchange buyers; to other more complex operations with false deposits of large amounts in accounts abroad.
Let us remember that Zelle is an online currency payment system, owned by several United States banks, among which the following stand out:
- Bank of America
- Capital one
- JPMorgan Chase
- PNC Bank
- U.S. Bank
- Wells Fargo
Before carrying out any operation for the purchase and sale of dollars or making a payment with foreign currency; keep in mind that the most important thing is not the exchange rate of this US currency but the degree of confidence you have in your counterparty in the transaction.
To avoid being a victim of these operations, here is a summary of the most used tricks in these scams and the simplest ways to protect yourself.
Statuses on WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram are usually the most used signs to get a foreign currency buyer or seller in some countries. That is where a good part of the exchange of dollars, or euros begins; but more than two years ago, fraudsters also began using these networks for their operations in these countries.
It all starts when a scammer takes control of certain social media accounts. He or she then proceeds to announce through a post the sale of some dollar sum. The scam works if someone decides to only chat through the private chat of that social network and complete a bank transfer; without using some other mechanism to verify the person’s identity.
The WhatsApp scam, on the other hand, begins with a similar post. The next procedure often used is to offer the currency, agree on a meeting point and request a transfer that never has the data of the person it is supposed to be. To do this, they invent a long list of excuses such as that it is an emergency for another family member or that payment will be made to another person.
How to protect yourself?
Before completing any foreign exchange transaction, verify that you are dealing with the person in question. A simple way is to call by phone; by WhatsApp or request a voice note.
Another protection formula is to write to that contact through any other chat to verify that they are aware of the operation and suspect; when requesting to make a transfer in the name of another person.
Simulated emails from Zelle
At the time of making a transfer, Zelle users receive an email confirming the transaction with the sender, the amount in currency, and the date. For some people, this confirmation is enough to conclude a payment; but several cases of scams related to sending an email that fakes this official notification from Zelle have already been reported; but that in reality, it is a very careful design simulation.
How to protect yourself?
In principle, it must be understood that Zelle is not a mobile payment for business transactions. It is a mechanism that is under permanent observation by the US authorities, and it is advisable not to use this means of payment with strangers or in stores that you only visit once.
The second thing is that when you make a foreign exchange purchase or even when you are going to receive a payment for the sale of a product or a job; check your bank balance directly on the web or the mobile application of the financial institution. This involves taking an extra step, but it is necessary to be sure that the agreed amount was added to your bank account.
Stay safe guys!!