In the U.S., there are more than 6 billion text messages sent each day—that’s 16 million per minute! And with this many messages being sent, fraudsters are making their way to your banking accounts through your text messages by pretending there has been a recent Zelle® transaction.
Because we always want you to stay safe in our app and online, we’re sharing some information below about how fraudsters can use scams to gain access to your account and then make unauthorized transactions. Knowing what to look and listen for will help you make informed decisions and feel confident about using Zelle® and our online and mobile banking options.
What is Zelle®?
Zelle® is a way to send and receive money with friends and family in Verve’s online banking center and mobile app. Zelle® transactions typically occur in minutes between enrolled users and are safe because no bank account information is shared on either side.
However, since money is sent directly from your account to another person’s account within minutes when the recipient is already enrolled, Zelle® should only be used to send money to friends, family and others you trust with a bank or credit union account in the U.S.
The Zelle® text message scam
In one of the latest scams, you’ll receive a text alert asking if you recently completed a Zelle® transaction. Then, regardless of how you answer, you’ll receive a follow-up phone call from a fraudster who will attempt to trick you into giving out your account information in order to access your account. Once access is gained, they can steal your money by making unauthorized payments.
How the scam works
Text alerts are a great feature to help you keep tabs on your account, with common alerts including low balances, when an automatic payment is completed and when your account is logged into. However, fraudsters are sending text alerts that look like they are coming from your credit union or Zelle®. These messages warn about fraudulent activity on your account. If you respond to the text, the scammer calls you and claims to be from the fraud department.
The fraudster asks for personal information like your account number or login credentials. They then access your accounts and start transferring money as quickly as possible.
How to protect yourself
- As a reminder, neither Verve nor Zelle® will ever call, email or text you requesting you to share personal information. If you contact us, we may ask you to provide personal information to confirm your identity.
- If you receive a call, email or text message from someone who says they’re from Verve or Zelle® and they ask you to share personal information (whether that’s your phone number, email address, birth date or username), do not provide any details, including text verification codes. Instead, contact Verve directly. Call us at 800.448.9228 (our phone number is also listed at the bottom of every page on our site) or visit a local branch to work with a team member to address whatever issue the caller may have brought up.
- Do not authorize any payments with Zelle® (or otherwise) that you have not entered into Zelle® yourself. If you receive a text or email about a Zelle® payment that you didn’t set up, call Verve immediately at 800.448.9228.
- If you receive money with Zelle® from someone you don’t know, it could be a money mule scam, and you should contact Verve immediately at 800.448.9228.
How Verve can help
If you think your Verve account is at risk because you’ve given out personal information or any other type of scam, call Verve at 800.448.9228. One of our team members can review your account activity, as well as guide you on how to safeguard your account against fraud.
It’s Verve’s goal—in line with our guiding Cooperative Principles—to provide education, training and information to help our members stay financially fit. Verve is committed to keeping our members educated when it comes to their finances by providing details on financial risks and ways to stay safe. Help your friends and family identify and avoid money transfer scams by sharing this blog post.
Zelle® and the Zelle® related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.