Zelle is a popular P2P payment service and because of this, it is a primary target for scammers and hackers looking to prey on victims.
When you enroll with Zelle, it will require you to use your phone number or email address for the process. If you provide your phone number, you'll be able to log in to your Zelle account through a combination of that phone number and password.
With that in mind, you should know how important your phone number already is for your Zelle account. But can someone hack your Zelle with your phone number? That's what we'll be seeing today.
In this article, we'll see whether can someone hack your Zelle with your phone number.
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Is It Safe To Give Someone Your Zelle Phone Number?
Generally speaking, it is never safe to give your Zelle phone number to someone you don't know.
Zelle advises users to do business only with people they trust and know.
Besides, what's the point of giving your Zelle phone number to someone if it's not for them to send you money?
So if you're giving your Zelle number to someone you trust to send you money, then you're completely out of risk otherwise, you run a great risk of getting scammed on the platform with just your number.
We'll see later, how can someone hack your Zelle with your phone number.
Can Someone Hack Your Zelle With Your Phone Number?
Yes, someone can hack your Zelle with your phone number though, not directly since they'll equally need your password and two-factor authentication.
Of course, someone cannot hack your Zelle account with your phone number from the server side since Zelle uses the latest encryption technology to secure accounts.
Let me explain how can someone hack your Zelle with your phone number.
If a hacker has your phone number and is skilled enough in convincing victims to provide more information about their accounts, chances are he should be able to gain access to your account with little effort.
In this scenario, the hacker can use your phone number to send you a text message that will look more like an alert or an urgent message either from your bank or from Zelle itself asking you to take immediate action to secure your account.
In the message, the hacker can include a phishing link which when clicked, will open a page that will ask for information about your account such as your Zelle account login credentials and your bank account details.
Once you enter the details on the page, consider your account "hacked" because the hacker would definitely not waste any time performing his fraudulent activities on your account before you even notice there's something going wrong.
If you're a folk and don't know how scams work on payment apps, chances are you'll fall into this common Zelle scam.
That's just a way someone can hack your Zelle with just your phone number.
So, I'll recommend you keep whatever information that is linked to your Zelle account such as your phone number, email, and bank account details private.
Never give your Zelle information to anyone who asks for it through SMS or phone call.
In case you notice something wrong with your account, disconnect your bank account from Zelle right away and contact your financial institution.
However, if you've been scammed already and looking to get your money back, here's how to get money back from Zelle if scammed.
How Can Someone Hack Your Zelle With Your Phone Number?
Yeah, you're now aware someone can hack your Zelle with your phone number. But phishing isn't the only way hackers use to hack Zelle accounts with phone numbers.
That said, the different ways someone can hack your Zelle with your phone number include:
1. Through Phishing
As earlier shown, scammers can use phishing to get more information about your Zelle account. They do so by sending you a text message that contains a link which when clicked will take you to a fake Zelle page asking for more information about your account. Once you fill out the form, they'll use that information to log into your account and steal your funds.
2. By Installing Malware On Your Phone
Malware is a type of software that can be installed on your computer or mobile device without your knowledge or consent. We usually download this from the web without knowing especially when visiting phishing sites.
Once installed on your phone, it can monitor all your activities and report what you're doing to the hacker. So if you log in to your account while this malware is installed on your phone, the hacker will see all you use to log in to your account and will just have to repeat the same process.
So you can download malware to your phone without knowing through the link you click through in the text message the person sent to you received through your phone number.
So always stay away from spammy messages to keep your Zelle and other accounts safe.
3. Through SIM Swapping
SIM swapping is a type of fraud in which someone transfers your phone number to their own SIM card. This is a common practice hackers use and they do so by contacting your cell phone carrier and pretending to be you.
Once your phone number is transferred to their SIM, they can use it to log in to your account and even bypass the Two-Factor Authentication.
What is a Zelle Scam?
A Zelle is a situation where you are knowingly involved in a transaction and you gave the "ok" and authorized a payment to be sent from your Zelle account.
There are many types of Zelle scams of which the most common is the social engineering scam according to many sources.
How Does a Zelle Scam Work?
The majority of Zelle scams use social engineering, in which the con artist gains the victim's trust before asking for money.
One of the most typical scams begins with a fake text message that asks for authorization for an upcoming transaction or warns of fraudulent activity on a particular account.
Users who respond to the message (often by texting back "no" as instructed) get a call from what appears to be a trustworthy financial institution.
Scammers can fake phone numbers so that the caller's number looks like one from a bank or credit union.
The scam then takes a turn.
Targets/victims are alerted that a thief is attempting to withdraw money from their bank account and that, in order to be safe, they should transfer money back into their account.
Ideal targets include those who have not yet enrolled with Zelle, which gives potential con artists the chance to link their bank accounts to a target's phone number.
The con artist will guide the victim through the two-factor authentication process and instruct them to read out the verification code that has been provided to the victim's phone in order to do this.
The final stage of the scam is when the scammer convinces the victim to send money to their own phone number using the victim's phone number that is linked to the fraudster's account.
The money is now actually leaving the target's account because the phone number has now been linked to the fraudster's account.
Repeated transactions are often requested by con artists in an effort to "recover" lost money.
The scam mostly targets people who don't already use Zelle, who lack technical expertise, and who think that sending money to their personal phone number cannot fall into the hands of a con artist.
How Can I Protect Myself from Zelle Scams?
Keeping your account safe and far from scammers' reach is very important to secure your finances.
That being said, here are some tips to keep your account safe from scammers.
1. Do Business Only with Those You Know and Trust
Zelle advises customers to do business only with people they know and trust.
If you use Zelle to make a payment, you might not be able to get your money back if you accidentally authorized a scam payment.
While Zelle offers a simple and convenient payment method, limiting its use to persons you know will lower your risk of falling victim to fraud.
2. Don't Respond to Unsolicited Text Messages or Emails
This advice is applicable to all suspected frauds, not just those using Zelle.
Don't reply if a message claims to be from your bank but you didn't get in touch with them beforehand.
To learn more about your account and any potential security risks, call your financial institution immediately.
You can also notify your bank that you've been phished if your account isn't having any issues.
You can cooperate with your bank to protect your account if the phishing effort leads you to divulge some personal information.
3. Watch for "Urgent" Deadlines or Requests From New Recipients
Start thinking twice if someone advises you to take immediate action to fix a financial issue.
Scammers use pressure and scare techniques to make you feel panicked and less able to think clearly.
Users in the utility scams described in the section above were given a 30-minute window to take action before their power was cut off.
Hang up the phone right away and contact the company directly if you detect any suspect behavior from someone requesting quick payment on behalf of your bank, a utility, or another agency.
Also be on the lookout for requests for new Zelle payments from any banks, companies, or utilities, especially if you've never paid them using Zelle previously.
For additional information, get in touch with the company directly via their official website or phone number if you ever receive requests to pay with Zelle.
4. Never Give Anyone Your Two-Factor Authentication Passcode
Two-factor authentication (2FA), also referred to as multifactor authentication or two-factor, offers an additional layer of security to your accounts.
Every time you log into your account, you'll get a new one-time password that lasts for 30 to 60 seconds and is often sent to you through email or text message.
Never divulge your one-time passcodes to anyone after enabling 2FA for your banking accounts.
Real organizations won't ever ask you for your passcode, but thieves posing as your bank or utility company may pressure you with a variety of false justifications.
5. Never Pay an "Outstanding Bill" Using Zelle
Since Zelle is an online payment system, it is susceptible to the majority of other scams that plague similar systems.
One of the more common fraud methods used by con artists is asking for money for unpaid utility bills and other debts.
This has been done with Zelle and iTunes gift cards.
You can avoid disappointment by adhering to one simple rule: if a business uses a peer-to-peer payment tool, such as Zelle or Venmo, to pursue an unpaid invoice, you are the victim of a fraud.
Some businesses let you pay your bills via a service like PayPal, but the majority provide a variety of payment options.
You can always tell a corporation you think they are chasing a bill unfairly over the phone.
Instead of agreeing with any requests from cold callers, call the company directly at the number provided on their website.
Even if you are familiar with the number, this is true.
Even if a phone number appears real, it could still be a fraud because phone numbers can be faked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can someone steal my info from Zelle?
Yes, someone can steal your info from Zelle is you give them enough details that they can use to gain access to your account knowingly or not.
Can I get scammed receiving money on Zelle?
Basically, receiving money on Zelle does not mean you are getting scammed. However, if a stranger sent you money on Zelle, consider reporting to your financial institution because they can send huge amounts to destroy your banking history.
How do I stop getting scammed on Zelle?
Keep your phone locked when it's not being used, Confirm cash requests by contacting the person through a known phone number, even if you've sent them money before, Refuse to send money to anyone you've never met in person..
Final Thoughts: Can Someone Hack Your Zelle With Your Phone Number
Zelle is a safe and convenient payment service that lets users send and receive money almost instantly.
Because Zelle is a popular financial app that deals with money transfers, scammers target the platform for their fraudulent activities.
We've seen how someone can hack your Zelle with your phone number and at this point, you should know that it is important to keep any information linked to your account as private as possible.