You can send money to someone you know and trust using Zelle. Zelle joined services like PayPal and Venmo in 2017 as an easy way to send and receive money on your phone. There are a lot of these services. Scammers and fraudsters are going after Zelle users more and more, which has led some experts in the field to question the app’s overall safety.
- Zelle is safe if you only send money to people you know and trust.
- Once you’ve given permission for a payment to go through, you can’t stop it.
- Zelle uses the digital infrastructure of your bank, so you can be sure that your money will be safe.
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What is Zelle?
Zelle is an online platform for sending and receiving money between US bank accounts quickly.
There are a lot of financial institutions that make it easy to send and receive money between accounts. You can use Zelle by going to the website or app of a bank that is part of the service, or by going to the iOS or App Store.
Zelle is safe to send and receive money from trusted people
Zelle has become a popular place for criminals to go because it is a “official” digital payment system that is built into many banking apps.
Zelle, on the other hand, was made by banks and is made to be safe. Zelle is a safe way to pay because it uses encryption to protect your information. Since it’s harder for scammers to get to users personal information, it’s safer than Venmo and Cash App.
But some well-known cases of fraud raise questions, and Zelle’s protections for customers aren’t very strong if something goes wrong.
- Zelle’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t protect payments that have been approved from fraud. If you pay for something online with Zelle and never get it, you have no way to get your money back.
- If you use Zelle to buy something from Craigslist, for example, and find out after the fact that the seller is a scammer, you won’t get your money back. Zelle says you shouldn’t pay someone you don’t know if you don’t know them.
- You’ll need the phone number or email address of the person you want to send money to in order to use Zelle.
- When you use Zelle, only send money to people you know and trust with your money. As soon as the money is sent, it is gone. If there isn’t any way to protect the buyer, the status of an order is “PENDING.” If you send money to the wrong person, you have no choice but to wait for that person to return it.
- In fact, some bad people try to use it to their advantage. Con artists may try to get you to send them money through Zelle so they can steal your money. If someone you don’t know sends you a Zelle payment request, you should turn it down.
Media reports say that banks are refusing to help scam and fraud victims because Zelle doesn’t protect against fraud.
But you don’t have no defences at all. Whether or not you agreed to the transaction, you may or may not be protected. Most of the time, though, any transactions that were done without permission will be paid back in full.
Ease of use of Zelle can also make it possible for bad people and fraudsters to get Zelle credentials by using social engineering. Scammers use social engineering to get people to give them personal information by lying about who they are or what they want.
Criminals have used social engineering to get in touch with people and ask for the two-factor code that Zelle needs to open accounts. When this happens, it’s easy for thieves to set up a Zelle account using the victim’s information.
You can protect yourself from these kinds of attacks in the same way you protect yourself from phishing, malware, and other social engineering attacks.
- Don’t give your passwords to people you don’t know.
- Make sure each of your online accounts has a strong, unique password.
When you use Zelle to send money, it’s the same as giving someone cash. Because of this, banks say you should only send money to people you know and trust.
What Zelle alternatives are available?
When you’re giving money to someone for the first time, use a service like PayPal. PayPal’s fees are very high, but the protection it offers is much better. Once you know someone well enough to trust them, you can use Zelle for instant wire transfers.
Alternatives to Zelle include: I can think of a few:
- PayPal: It is one of the oldest peer-to-peer digital payment apps, and it’s easy to use. However, if you’re buying things with money from friends or family, it’s expensive. Even more important, it doesn’t give you much security when buying things online.
Google Pay isn’t as popular as Venmo and PayPal, even though it’s the default payment system on many Android devices. Even though it’s free and works with a wide range of Google devices, apps, and services, it’s still a handy way to send money to friends and family.
- Venmo: Venmo is an app for social transactions that lets you see what your friends and family are up to (but transactions can also be made private). Venmo makes it easy to split bills, but if you use a credit card, you have to pay a 3 percent fee.
- Cash App: Square’s digital payment app, is a lot like Venmo in a lot of ways (though it lacks the social features like the ability to see how your friends and family are spending their money). It also costs 3% to send money with a credit card, but this is one of the few apps that directly works with cryptocurrency.