Zelle is a platform scammers love and most victims of scams are wondering how to get money back from Zelle if scammed.
Privacy and security are important aspects to consider when dealing with digital payment apps.
Thankfully, Zelle is a money transfer app that considers its user's safety first by offering all the security and convenience they need when sending money.
However, since Zelle is a popular P2P payment service, many scammers target it to perform their fraudulent activities — it's no new thing to see scams on Zelle.
If you are a victim of a Zelle scam and you're wondering how to get money back from Zelle if scammed, then you're at the right place.
That being said, in this article, I'll show you the initiatives to take to get money back from Zelle if scammed.
Table of Contents
How Does Zelle Scam Work?
In general, a transaction is considered to be a scam if you were aware of it and you gave the "ok" and consent for a payment to be sent.
Even if you were duped or convinced to authorize a payment for a good or service that someone promised to give but didn't, this would be regarded as a scam.
You might not be able to get your money back because you authorized the payment.
Purchasing tickets, purchasing puppies, and other financial frauds like cash flips are a few of the scams that have been reported.
The majority of reported Zelle scams use pure social engineering, which involves intimidating people with false information.
Scammers trick people into authorizing money transfers without their knowledge by making fraudulent claims and representations.
An email or text message requesting confirmation of a sizable fraudulent Zelle payment is a common scam.
When the user responds that they did not authorize the transfer, the con artist calls them again while posing as the bank and using a phone number that belongs to the financial institution.
They lead the caller through fictitious instructions on how to reject erroneous claims, which in fact send money to the thieves.
A message suggesting that your bank account has been compromised and that you must act right away to fix the issue is the start of another common scam.
If you reply, the scammers call you back and walk you through the money transfer procedure while posing as your bank.
Scammers may also pose as institutions like utility providers in addition to your bank.
Also Read: Can I Send Money To Myself With Zelle?
Is Zelle Safe To Receive Money From Strangers?
Although extensive authentication and monitoring features, bank-level encryption, and other security measures make Zelle a secure platform for sending money, it is not intended for use in commercial transactions.
You should use Zelle to send money to "friends, relatives or anyone you trust, such as your personal trainer, babysitter, or a neighbor," according to the company.
However, stay away from utilizing Zelle if you don't know the recipient or aren't certain you'll get what you paid for.
For instance, Zelle advises against using the service for products purchased from an online auction or sales website. The transactions are "potentially high risk," the statement says.
Can Zelle Refund Money If Scammed?
Zelle's transactions are made through bank accounts and Zelle is more like a middleman to facilitate bank-to-bank transactions — it does not hold any funds as an intermediate.
Zelle's terms are clear; — you can't cancel a payment or get a refund if you authorized a payment to someone already enrolled with Zelle.
That being said, Zelle cannot refund money if scammed.
Though there's nothing much Zelle can do to help you get a refund for your payment sent, Zelle can help report the issue to your bank or credit union which would help prevent more scams on the platform.
If you've been scammed with Zelle and your bank refuses to return your money, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which forwards complaints to financial institutions to respond.
Consumers also can call the CFPB at 855-411-2372.
However, there's a way to get money back from Zelle if scammed that many users aren't yet much aware of.
Also Read: Can I Use Zelle Without A Bank Account?
How To Get Money Back From Zelle If Scammed
"Because you authorized the payment, you may not be able to get your money back."
That's just to say, there's nothing much Zelle can do to help you get your money back if scammed.
However, your financial institution (bank or credit union) is the only party that can help you get your money back from Zelle if scammed.
That being said, the first and foremost thing you would want to do in order to get your money back from Zelle if scammed, is to contact your financial institution.
If your financial institution takes a long to give you a proper response, consider reporting the scam to Zelle by filling out a form.
Zelle would forward to issue to your financial institution which would push them to give you a proper response in time.
If your financial institution doesn't provide you with steps to get your money back, don't worry, you still got one more tip to get your money back from Zelle if scammed.
As it turns out Zelle and other money transfer apps can't just let you transfer money and walk away from the transaction.
You have the option to dispute an ATM withdrawal, debit card purchase, or electronic funds transfer under a little-known regulation known as Regulation E.
The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA)-authorized regulation protects consumers during fund transfers.
The Electronic Funds Transfer Act, generally known as "Reg E," gives consumers legal rights and protections in the event of fraudulent payments and also, protects customers during electronic money transfers according to CFPB.
In fact, the regulation covers all electronic fund transactions made by peer-to-peer payment services.
You'll need to inform your financial institution of a fraudulent transaction and, the following is required by law:
- Promptly investigate the oral or written allegation of error.
- Complete its investigation within 10 business days.
- Report the results of its investigation within three business days after completing its investigation.
- Correct the error within one business day after determining that an error has occurred.
Also Read: How To Get Money Back On Cash App If Scammed
Why then do no one seem to be aware of these consumer protections?
Regulation E is not widely publicized by banks.
Even the financial press, which is generously supported by credit card advertisements, isn't exactly rushing to write about Regulation E.
In the end, a lot of customers don't care about electronic payment security and would rather make all of their transactions with credit cards so they may accumulate more reward points.
Also Read: How To Send Money Anonymously On Zelle?
What Kind of Transactions Does Regulation E Cover?
Regulation E typically covers errors, unlike the more official and regulated credit card dispute resolution process. Error is defined as:
- An unauthorized electronic fund transfer.
- An incorrect electronic fund transfer to or from your account.
- The omission of an electronic fund transfer from a periodic statement.
- A computational or bookkeeping error made by the financial institution relating to an electronic fund transfer.
- Your receipt of an incorrect amount of money from an ATM.
Does Regulation E Apply To A Fraudulent Transaction?
In general, yes.
An unauthorized electronic fund transfer is one that was started without your consent and for which you did not obtain any benefit, according to the regulation.
Accessing a device that was gained through theft or fraud, as well as transfers that you were coerced into doing, are examples of unauthorized transfers.
Transfers made when acting dishonestly or when granting someone else access to your device are excluded.
According to experts, Regulation E would apply to any circumstance in which access to a device was fraudulently gained.
Therefore, Regulation E would apply if someone received your password through a phishing fraud and transferred money.
How Do You Use Regulation E To Reverse An Accidental (Fraudulent) Transfer?
The dispute resolution process for faulty or fraudulent transactions is outlined by EFTA. It mirrors the process for handling credit card disputes.
You have 60 days to report the error
No later than 60 days following the date on which the financial institution sends the periodic statement or gives the passbook documents, the institution must receive your disagreement.
You have to document the problem
Your name and account number must be provided to the institution. You must also mention the error, along with its type, date, and severity.
You may have to write a letter
You can initially report an issue to your bank over the phone or in person.
However, if you receive an oral notice of an inaccuracy, your financial institution may need you to confirm it in writing within 10 working days.
Your bank can ask for more information or documentation.
A quick investigation is required by law.
A bank has ten days to carry out the investigation.
If it offers you a provisional credit, it may continue the investigation for an additional 45 days.
How Do You File A Dispute Under Regulation E?
Few people are aware of the claim filing process because Regulation E is almost unknown outside of the financial services sector. In general, banks don't provide as many simple methods for filing a dispute as they do for credit card chargebacks.
To find out more about a Regulation E issue, you should usually call your bank. Your bank can want you to provide the following details in writing:
- Your account number.
- The types and amounts of errors and/or unauthorized transactions.
- When you lost the money and the transaction numbers.
- The date on which you notified the bank of the lost or stolen card or unauthorized transactions.
- The date on which the periodic statement was sent showed the first unauthorized transaction.
- What kind of resolution you are requesting.
Whether or not the charge is incorrect determines whether the investigation will be successful.
Your financial institutions will likely contend that you or the institution made a math error.
However, as we've already seen, the law adopts a more expansive definition of "error"—one that might be useful to you during the resolution procedure.
Can You Cancel a Zelle Payment?
You can only cancel a Zelle payment in any of the two instances below:
- If you send money to the wrong person.
- If the payment expires.
Cancel a Zelle Payment if You Sent Money to the Wrong Person
You might be able to cancel the payment if you entered the wrong phone number or email address while transferring the money.
Only if the recipient's bank account hasn't already been credited with the funds is this possible. Either the Zelle app or your mobile banking app let you cancel a payment.
Here are the steps to follow if you want to cancel the payment through the Zelle app:
- Open your Zelle app.
- Click on the Zelle Experience option.
- Go to your Activity page.
- Find the payment you want to cancel.
- Select the Cancel This Payment option.
The procedure may vary depending on the bank if you choose to cancel the transaction using your mobile banking app.
The procedures often entail:
- Logging in to your online banking account.
- Checking your Pending Transactions.
- Canceling the transaction if it's listed in that section.
Your best course of action is to get in touch with your bank if the payment you want to cancel is not listed under Pending Transactions.
How to Get Your Money Back if the Payment Expires
You can send money to someone using Zelle even if they haven't signed up yet.
You only need their phone number or email address.
They will be informed and given directions on how to obtain their funds.
The payment expires if your receiver doesn't sign up for Zelle within 14 days of receiving it.
You will be informed if this occurs, and the money will be sent back into your account.
Zelle Customer Support will get in touch with you if any additional issues arise with the transaction.
How To Avoid Zelle Scams
Staying away from Zelle scams is the best way to avoid falling for them.
That said, here are some ways to avoid Zelle scams.
- Don't respond to unsolicited text messages or emails.
- Watch for 'urgent' deadlines or requests from new recipients.
- Never give anyone your two-factor authentication passcode.
- Use Zelle only for transfers to people or businesses you know and trust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Zelle payments be disputed?
Yes, Zelle payments can be disputed. Zelle can only attempt to dispute a transaction that happened within 120 days. If you have tried to get the funds back and were unable to do so, BCU can submit a dispute on your behalf.
How do I get my money back from a scammer?
Contact your bank and report the fraudulent transfer. Ask them to reverse the wire transfer and give you your money back. Did you send money through a money transfer app? Report the fraudulent transaction to the company behind the money transfer app and ask them to reverse the payment.
Will my bank refund me if I get scammed?
Yes! Contact your bank immediately to let them know what's happened and ask if you can get a refund. Most banks should reimburse you if you've transferred money to someone because of a scam.
Final Thoughts: How To Get Money Back From Zelle If Scammed
Zelle is a safe and convenient way for sending and receiving money between bank accounts.
Because it is a popular payment service, scammers target the platform for their fraudulent activities.
If you got scammed and are looking to get your money back from Zelle, consider contacting your financial institution directly which should provide you with more details about the transaction and if possible, with steps to getting your money back.
In case your financial institution doesn't help you much, then you have the legal right to apply for Regulation E to get your money back.