Fraud Alert: Zelle Transactions

It has been reported that scammers may be emailing, texting, or calling credit union members to fraudulently make Zelle person-to-person and other transactions.

JMFA Thumbdownload 3One variation of this scam is to text a message asking if you initiated a transaction. Regardless of whether you answer “yes,” “no”, you will receive a phone call from a scammer pretending to be from your credit union’s fraud department. The caller’s number will be spoofed so that it appears to be coming from your credit union.

To “verify your identity”, the scammer will ask for your online banking username, and then tell you to read back a passcode sent via text or email. Actually, the scammer is initiating a transaction — such as the “forgot password” feature on your credit union’s site — which is what generates the authentication passcode delivered to the member.

The scammer then uses the code to complete the password reset process, and then changes your online banking password. They then have access to your account and use Zelle to transfer your funds to others.

An important aspect of this scam is that the scammers do not even need to know or phish your password. By sharing your username and reading back the one-time code sent to you via email, you are allowing the scammer to reset your online banking password.

It is prudent for credit unions to remind their members of their policy when it comes to not initiating account transactions or requesting account information by email, phone, or text. If in doubt, your members should contact you directly.