So what scams are Zelle and Venmo using? Almost all | Chroniclers

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Zelle? Venmo? Do you know these? Do you use them?

Whatever your answer, these are systems that can make transferring money more convenient, and all you need is a bank account, a credit card, and a cell phone. On their own, they are not fraudulent and can play a crucial role in handling emergencies requiring rapid money transfer.

Zelle and Venmo are identified as “peer-to-peer” payment systems. Zelle was created by several major banks, while Venmo is part of PayPal. Both systems require registration: you can often register with Zelle through your bank or credit union and receive or use funds from your own accounts; Venmo transacts business between Venmo accounts / balances.

Are these money transfer systems fast? Very! A money transfer only takes a few minutes. Zelle withdraws and deposits money into an existing bank or brokerage account. Venmo uses PayPal to do the same, and if you make a purchase but don’t have enough funds, Venmo charges the credit card linked to the account. Typically, no fees are charged for transactions, but like everything else, check with the system you are using before doing anything.

So far, it seems like a harmless way of doing business. It can be very convenient to do business with friends or family to get money from one place to another, but as Zelle and Venmo become more popular, the use by criminals increases. In fact, the FBI reports that since its inception three or four years ago, crooks have increased their use of payment systems due to the speed of money transfers, ease of use, and anonymity. .

So what scams are Zelle and Venmo using? Almost all: fake prices, tech support, romance, buying or selling goods and services, friend or family member in need, get-rich-quick scams, check scams, charity scams.

How to avoid being a victim? Think before you click!

As with most scams, don’t let emotion rule your behavior. With Zelle and Venmo, understand that money transfers are permanent and happen as soon as you authorize them. If you find that a scam has occurred, report it immediately to the bank or credit union concerned.

Although they cannot stop the transfer, they may be able to reimburse you for the loss. If the institution does not help you, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (cfpb.gov).

If you’ve been the victim of a money transfer scam, report it. There is no guarantee that you will get your money back, but the information in the report may help law enforcement and transfer services apprehend criminals and improve services – FBI (IC3.gov) or Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov). Also consider filing a report with the AARP (aarp.org/fraud) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org/scamtracker). Both organizations are tracking and reporting scams nationwide.

Questions, concerns? Contact me, [email protected]

Elliott Greenblott is a retired educator and coordinator of the AARP Vermont Fraud Watch Network. He hosts a CATV show, “Mr. Scammer,” distributed by GNAT-TV in Sunderland, Vermont: gnat-tv.org.


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