Zelle is a popular digital payment platform that allows individuals to send and receive money quickly and easily. However, like any online payment system, it is vulnerable to scams. In this article, we’ll explore the most common types of Zelle scams and what consumers can do to protect themselves.

Types of Zelle scams

Impersonator scam

A common type of Zelle scam involves fraudsters posing as legitimate businesses or individuals and requesting payment through Zelle. For example, a scammer may send an email claiming to be from a well-known company and asking the recipient to make a payment using Zelle. Alternatively, a scammer may send a text message or make a phone call claiming to be from a government agency or utility company and requesting payment through Zelle to avoid disconnection or fines.

Hacked Zelle account

Another type of Zelle scam involves hackers gaining access to a victim’s Zelle account and using it to send money to their own account. This can occur if a victim falls for a phishing scam and provides their login information to a hacker, or if their account is compromised through some other means, such as a data breach.

To protect yourself from Zelle scams, it’s important to be aware of the red flags and take precautions.

Tips to avoid Zelle scams

Don’t click on links or download attachments from unfamiliar sources

Scammers often use phishing scams to trick victims into revealing their login information or downloading malware. If you receive a suspicious email or text message requesting payment through Zelle, do not click on any links or download any attachments.

Verify the identity of the sender

If you receive a request for payment through Zelle, make sure you know who the sender is and that the request is legitimate. If you are unsure, contact the company or individual directly to verify their identity.

Use strong, unique passwords

Use strong, unique passwords for your Zelle account and any other online accounts. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and consider using a password manager to help you generate and store strong passwords.

Enable two-factor authentication

Enable two-factor authentication on your Zelle account to add an extra layer of security. This requires you to enter a code in addition to your password when logging in, making it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account.

Be cautious of unsolicited requests for payment

If you receive a request for payment through Zelle from someone you don’t know, be cautious. Do not send money unless you are sure the request is legitimate.

Monitor your account activity

Regularly monitor your Zelle account activity to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions. If you notice any suspicious activity, report it to Zelle and your bank immediately.

Know your rights

Familiarize yourself with your rights as a consumer. If you believe you have been the victim of a Zelle scam, contact your bank and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Our investigations into Common Scams of 2023

By following these tips and being vigilant, you can protect yourself from Zelle scams and keep your money safe. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you receive a request for payment through Zelle that seems suspicious, trust your instincts and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

Can Zelle refund money if scammed?

If you have been the victim of a scam and have lost money through Zelle, there may be options available to help you recover your funds. However, the availability of these options will depend on the specific circumstances of your case and the actions you have taken.

Zelle scam recovery options

One option for recovering your funds may be to contact your bank or credit union directly. Many financial institutions offer fraud protection services, and they may be able to help you recover your money if you act quickly.

If you suspect that you have been the victim of a scam and have used Zelle to send money, you should contact your bank or credit union as soon as possible to report the fraud and request assistance.

In some cases, you may also be able to dispute the transaction with Zelle directly. Zelle has a fraud protection policy in place to help protect its users against unauthorized transactions.

If you believe that you have been the victim of a scam and have used Zelle to send money, you can contact the Zelle customer support team to report the fraud and request assistance.

It is important to note that recovery of funds is not guaranteed in every case, and the availability of these options will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

To increase your chances of recovering your funds, it is important to act quickly and to follow the steps outlined by your bank or credit union and by Zelle.

Zelle Scam Blacklist

The following phone numbers, websites, and emails have been reported to us by the consumer. If you feel this information is incorrect, you may submit a request for removal or correction by contacting us using this form.

Submit phone numbers, websites, or email addresses associated with a scam. Your submission will be published as soon as it gets reviewed by one of our staff members.

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Attention: Consumers who have been contacted by scammers could have had their personal information breached. TotalScam!™ highly recommends that consumers whose information has been breached obtain an identity theft protection service immediately.

There are several companies that offer identity theft protection in the US. One of the most inexpensive options we were able to find is the protection offered by LifeLock. You can start your protection here.

Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are not endorsed by LifeLock. TotalScam!™ receives compensation from LifeLock. This helps support our scam prevention efforts.


Fraudulent websites can be easily spotted by looking out for these 5 red flags. Learn about them by visiting the following this link: How to tell if the website is a scam in 5 steps.

Absolutely! Not only you should report the scammers to the FTC and IC3, but you may also want to expose them online. Websites such as SCAMGUARD™ allow victims of fraud to tell their stories and warn the public of fraudulent schemes.

Yes. If scammers are in possession of your personal information, they can use that to steal your identity. For more on this subject, please read: How scams lead to identity theft.

There are various ways in which scammers gain access to your personal information. One such way is by purchasing consumer data on the darknet. When a website is hacked, which happens quite often, hackers steal databases containing personal information and sell that to the highest bidder. This information is then used to steal identities, ruining lives in the process. For more on this subject, follow this link: How scams lead to identity theft.

It depends on the method of payment. For more on this subject, please read: How to recover your money if you’ve been scammed.

Most scam artists reside outside of the US and use threats to exact more money from their victims. Nevertheless, all threats should be taken seriously, especially if scammers have your name and address.

Our investigations into Common Scams of 2023