How to get your money back if you fall for Zelle/bank scam

Nina Pineda Image
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
How to get your money back if you fall for Zelle/bank scam
7 On Your Side is facing a steady stream of complaints from viewers saying they were victims of bank fraud. Nina Pineda reports with the latest.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- 7 On Your Side is facing a steady stream of complaints from viewers saying they were victims of bank fraud, many starting with an innocent text, seemingly from your bank.

The FTC says in the first half of this year mobile app scams have cost consumers nearly $60 million in losses.

"I was sick to my stomach," said Barbara Zyhajlo, a scam victim.

Her checking account got drained by the same clever coast-to-coast con: Imposters posing as bankers and tricking customers like single mom Zyhajlo into using Zelle.

"He was just so professional and made it seem like it was Bank of America calling," Zyhajlo said.

The call came after she got a text stating it was her bank, Bank of America, asking to confirm a transfer she didn't make.

After getting convinced there was fraud on the account, Zyhajlo was told to use Zelle to send money to a new account in her name.

She said she had never used Zelle before.

Neither did a school nurse in Chicago, or a teacher in San Francisco, they also got scammed into sending money via Zelle as well.

"Sure enough I looked in my account, sure enough, $3,500 was gone," a victim said.

Zelle's network operator, Early Warning Services, told 7 On Your Side, "This is a phishing scam where the scammer spoofed the bank phone number and attempted to convince the individual to provide their personal information, not a breach of the bank's or Zelle security."

Bank of America told customers they are responsible for any funds transferred via Zelle which is used by hundreds of banks.

But after the victims called 7 On Your Side, Bank of America refunded their money.

RELATED | Man loses half his savings in bank transfer scam

Scammers are using the fear of rampant banking fraud to lure their victims. It cost one man half his life savings.

Zyhajlo, a Red Cross frontline worker, called was smart enough to file a police report in South Amboy outlining the fraud, which was clutch.

"I was ecstatic to get it back, I was so happy," Zyhajlo said.

Financial institutions remind customers they will never ask customers to transfer money via a cold call, text or email. If you get contacted to do so, call your bank directly, never trust anyone calling from the number that reached out to you.

The big takeaway, if you've been a victim of any kind of bank fraud, report it immediately. Most banks give just 60 days to file a claim.

But the most important step is to always get a police report. Submit it to your bank as part of your investigation. Banks won't take you seriously unless you have that.

RELATED | More victims of Bank of America, Zelle scams come forward

Bank of America has said it will not ask customers to transfer money between accounts or request sensitive information.



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