Scammers are using various methods to steal money from Zelle users. One common scam involves a scammer reaching out to a Zelle user claiming to have accidentally sent money to the Zelle user’s account. Then, they request the customer to reverse the payment, after which, the scammer absconds with the customer’s money.
Zelle’s official response is that as a third-party payment processor, they are not responsible for having fraud protection, and that the responsibility for fraud protection instead falls on the banks that use the service. However, banks are considering these to be “authorized transactions” and are therefore not refunding customers’ money either.
In 2007, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Your Money Access, a payment processor used by hundreds of merchants marketing deceptive scams.
In 2021, the CFPB filed a similar federal lawsuit alleging violations of the 2010 Consumer Financial Protection Act against third-party payment processor BrightSpeed claiming that BrightSpeed knowingly processed payment for companies engaged in fraud.
Zelle’s user agreement includes a class action waiver and a mandatory arbitration clause. These may both be opted out of in writing within 30 days of accepting the user agreement.