Scammers finding new prey through quick pay apps

BBB warning about getting scammed using quick pay apps
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 6:50 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Better Business Bureau says they’re seeing an increase in scammers using quick pay apps like Zelle to steal money from people.

Yvonne Causwell says that’s what happened to her. She lost more than $3,000 through Zelle after talking to someone she thought was from her bank’s fraud department.

Causwell says the scammer spoofed her banks number and called pretending to help her stop fraudulent purchases. But instead, thousands were taken directly from her account.

She says this all started on April 30th. The caller had all of her account and debit card information.

“He actually told me how much money I had in my account,” says Causwell. “And then he proceeded to read off every digit of my debit card. He had the three-digit codes on the back and the expiration.”

Causwell says the caller instructed her to transfer money through Zelle to fix her account but she realized she was being scammed.

“He was actually in my account. He was attempting to wipe out my account while I was on the phone with him.”

The Better Business Bureau says they are seeing more and more cases like these and they want people to be aware of the signs.

“If the language is urgent saying you need to act now because again scammers they love to operate on urgency so that right there is a red flag,” Alex Derencz, with the BBB.

Another red flag is the phone call Causwell received saying her account was compromised.

“In the event that you get an email or a text message or a phone call that’s claiming there’s a fraudulent activity or unusual activity with your account,” says Derencz. “Don’t click any of the links don’t download any of the attachments don’t call any of the numbers that are in that message.”

And unfortunately, if this happens to you, there isn’t much you can do.

“If you send it through Zelle or any other peer to peer payment method, the chances of you getting that money back are very very slim the only real way that you’re going to get it back is if that person out of the goodness of their heart decides to give it back,” says Derencz.

The BBB says it’s best to stay alert and always check your accounts. If you notice something is wrong immediately call or go talk to someone in person at your bank.

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