In this world full of con artists, privacy and security are two important aspects to consider when dealing with finances. Hopefully, money transfer apps like Zelle offer all we need for transferring money, but is Zelle safe to receive money from strangers?
Before we get to the answer for that question frequently asked by Zelle users, let's first talk about some basics aspects of Zelle.
It has been a convenient and secure way to move money between bank accounts.
The best is, getting started with Zelle is pretty simple and straightforward; — all you'll need to do before sending and receiving money with Zelle, you'll need to download the app and signup for an account then provide a funding source.
Besides, you can receive money through Zelle without even having an account; — when someone send you money through Zelle and you aren't yet a registered user, you'll receive an SMS with all the steps required for receiving your funds.
But is Zelle safe to receive money from Strangers?
If you've always been asking yourself that question, then you're at the right place to get an answer.
That being said, in this article, we'll be seeing if Zelle is safe to receive money from strangers.
Table of Contents
What is Zelle?
According to Wikipedia, Zelle is a United States–based digital payments network owned by Early Warning Services, LLC, a private financial services company owned by the banks Bank of America, Truist, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Users transferred $187 billion in 2019 using Zelle, an increase of 57% since 2018 as per Experian.
How To Send Money With Zelle
Sending money with Zelle is easy.
To send money with Zelle:
- Open the Zelle app.
- Select someone from your mobile device's contacts (or add a trusted recipient's email address or U.S. mobile phone number).
- Enter the amount you'd like to send and an optional note, review.
- Tap Send to send the money.
In most cases, the money is available to your recipient in minutes.
Also Read: Can I Send Money To Myself With Zelle?
How To Receive Money From Zelle
If you're a Zelle user and someone sent you money, you should receive it within some few seconds.
However, if you have not yet enrolled your Zelle® profile, follow these simple steps to receive money from Zelle:
- Click on the link provided in the payment notification.
- Select your bank or credit union.
- Follow the instructions provided on the page to enroll and receive your payment.
Also Read: Can I Use Zelle Without A Bank Account?
Is It Safe To Receive Money Through Zelle?
Yes, it is completely safe to receive money through Zelle.
Zelle is a fast, safe and easy way to send and receive money with friends, family and others you trust regardless of where they bank.
In fact, as long as they bank with a U.S. bank, they should be able to receive money through Zelle.
Zelle recommends to send money only to those you know and trust because once you authorize a payment to be sent, you can't cancel it if the recipient is already enrolled in Zelle.
Also Read: How To Send Money Anonymously On Zelle?
Is Zelle Safe To Receive Money From Stangers?
Con artists are everywhere especially within popular money transfer apps like Zelle.
Zelle advices to users to only do business (send and receive money) with people and businesses they trust.
This is because scammers have all the techniques required to get money from you even if it means first sending you money.
A common situation is the Cash App sugar daddy scam, where the scammer makes and offer to clear off their sugar babies debt by making a little deposit to show how serious they are.
When they send you the money, they will ask you to send a greater part of your funds to them on the money transfer app and if you deny to comply with them, they use many more strategies to get the money from you even if it means that they should threaten you.
A similar case is the random person sent money on Cash App scam.
It is not safe to receive money from strangers on Zelle and if you do, contact both Zelle and your financial institution and report an unauthorized transaction on your account.
However, in most cases, receiving money from strangers on Zelle is safe since most users usually send money to wrong recipients; — it would be left onto you to see if you are generous enough to return their money.
What To Do If You Receive Money From A Stranger Through Zelle
If you received money from a stranger through Zelle, the first thing you should consider doing is to block the sender then, contact both Zelle and your financial institution.
Contacting your financial institution is a crucial thing to do in such situation most especially if you receive huge amounts of money; — it can be the case that someone is just trying to cause you problem with your financial institution.
If the transaction was just a mistake from the sender, Zelle should be able to refund the money to the sender after you've contacted them.
Can You Get Scammed With Zelle?
Of course, you can get scammed with Zelle.
Most Zelle scams are just pure social engineering where the scammers manipulate people with fake details and scare tactics.
Con artists use fake claims to get their victims perform unauthorized transactions through their Zelle accounts.
Scammers use a common way to scam their victims which involves sending an email or text message asking their victims to authorize a huge and false Zelle payment.
When the user denies to cooperate with them, they usually call them claiming they represent your financial institution and do all possible ways to convince you to authorize the transaction.
They walk the caller through bogus instructions on how to reverse the unauthorized transaction that instead actually sends the funds to the scammers account.
Another popular scam involves scammers sending a message saying that your bank account has been hacked and that you need to take action immediately to resolve the problem.
If you respond, the scammers will follow up with a phone call, claiming to represent your bank and guiding you in their own personal interest.
Can Zelle Refund Money If Scammed?
Zelle's term state that it is impossible to get a refund for a payment that has been send to a user already enrolled with Zelle.
This means, if you get scammed by a scammer who's enrolled with Zelle, then chances for you getting a refund should be really low.
The clear fact is, you can't get a money refund if scammed through Zelle because scammers use all ways to anticipate you if in case you try to get a refund.
However, you can contact your financial institution or bank to try help you tracing out the transaction and possibly get a refund.
How Long Does A Zelle Refund Take?
It usually take 10 business days to dispute a case on Zelle and get a refund.
However, keep in mind that the transaction is a fraudulent one, chances for you to get a refunds are really minor since most scammers anticipate all your moves.
Can Someone Hack Your Zelle With Your Phone Number?
Yes, just as Cash App, someone can hack your Zelle with just your phone number. You must be wondering how, so here's how.
As earlier mentioned, scammers send messages to their victims asking them to validate an authorized transaction.
The most effective way they use to convince victims is by claiming they are the bank representatives, telling their victims that their account is at risk and telling them to take action immediately to protect their accounts.
Once you open any link mentioned in the message or follow the guide they provide, be sure that your Zelle account would get hacked within minutes and you would be the only one to be blamed.
That's one of the ways someone can hack your Zell with just your phone number.
Is Zelle Safe For Sellers?
Zelle is safe for sellers, but we can't say the same case for the person purchasing an item through Zelle.
So if a seller asks you to use Zelle® to purchase something, you should refuse unless the seller is someone you personally know.
Zelle® does not offer a protection program for authorized payments made through the service.
Final Thoughts: Is Zelle Safe To Receive Money From Strangers
Zelle is a safe, secure and convenient way to transferring funds between banks.
Zelle recommends users to do business only with people they know and trust meaning, it is not completely safe to receive money from strangers on Zelle.
In case you receive money from a stranger on Zelle, consider contacting both Zelle and your financial institution and report an unauthorized transaction on your account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get scammed receiving money on Zelle?
Yes, you can get scammed receiving money on Zelle. A scammer can send you money and ask you to resend an amount higher than that they sent and are even ready to threaten you if you don't comply with them.
Can someone steal your bank info from Zelle?
Zelle is a safe way for sending money online through banks. Someone can only steal your bank info if they have access to your Zelle account.