Financial Protection

Will Zelle help all its fraud victims?

We don’t know yet. The payment app Zelle is saying that changes will be announced soon. Will the changes result in refunds to all fraud victims? I spoke with Susan Tompor of the Detroit Free Press for her story.  Neither of us knows. I told her, “We believe the changes will be a step in the right direction, but how big a step?”

Zelle is a P2P app that competes with several others, including Venmo and Cash App. The others are owned by Big Tech companies. Zelle is owned by Early Warning Services. EWS is owned by 7 of the nation’s biggest banks. The Zelle app is also marketed by thousands of banks and credit unions.

The banks that own Zelle, and Zelle itself, have relied on a loophole in the law that they claim leaves consumers liable for most fraud. This is unacceptable.

When will they make changes? What changes? I told Susan Tompor: “They’re playing games with consumers, consumer advocates and reporters.” They’re saying “it will keep the fraudsters from knowing as well.”

Not good enough. PIRG recommends that consumers not use any P2P app for business transactions. Only use them with friends. And be suspicious of phone calls, texts or emails. Never give information or send money to someone who contacts you.  They might say they’re from the bank. They might say it’s important to act now.

Don’t reply to their texts or emails. Hang up the phone and call the number on your bank card. Don’t let a fraudster threaten you if you don’t act right now!

Read our latest tips on how to protect yourself.

See the Campaign

Show More