Due to the seriousness of this scam and the growing trend, Bank of America has put out this warning:

Please add to this warning the following three important keys not mentioned in their alert (below):

  1. If the bank calls you and asks anything from you, like a code you just recieved, hang up and call the number on the back of your card, explain what the rep asked for and see if they have any notes about calling you.  If they do, great you reached your bank and will get the help you need.  If they don’t have notes on what they needed from you, you just avoided getting scammed.  Please keep in mind, if the person who calls was really a bank rep, and you told them you’re going to call the bank, they WILL NOT argue that idea, but will agree and let you hang up, where as a scammer will some how get you to stay on the call, never stay on the call, call the number on  your card instead always!
  2. Does not matter which one, the bank will NEVER ask you for a Zelle code!  If you setup Zelle, you will get a code, it is for your eyes only not any other person at all, not even a bank rep!
  3. You can not send yourself money via Zelle, it’s not allowed by their rules, don’t even believe a scam like that.

Below is Bank of America’s Alart:

Here’s what you need to know about a trending scam

Zelle® is a fast and easy way to send and receive money with people you know and trust. As always, our clients’ security is a top priority, and we want to make sure you know the red flags that signal scams so you can stay protected. Please watch this educational video from Zelle® and review the information below to learn more about a trending scam.
While Bank of America may send you a text to validate unusual activity, we will never contact you to request that you send money using Zelle® to anyone, including yourself, or to share a code to resolve fraud. If you receive a request like this, it is likely a scammer trying to trick you.

Here are the details of the “pay yourself” scam

  • You receive a text message that looks like a fraud alert from your bank about unusual activity. The text may look something like “Did you make a purchase of $100.00 at ABC merchant?”.
  • If you respond to the text, you have now engaged the scammer and will receive a call from a number that appears to be from a bank.
  • They’ll appear to be a representative from a bank and will offer to help stop the alleged fraud by asking you to send money to yourself with Zelle®.
  • The scammer will ask you for a one-time code you just received from a bank.
  • If you give them the code, they will use it to enroll their bank account with Zelle® using your email or phone number.
  • The scammer now has the ability to receive your money into their account.

What you can do to help stay protected

  • Don’t trust caller ID — it’s not always who it says it is.
  • Don’t share codes based on a call you receive.
  • Don’t be pressured to act immediately.

Visit the Security Center for more tips on:

  • Red flags for common scams
  • Details about trending scams
  • Ways to avoid being scammed

We hope you find this information helpful.

Legal disclosures and information

Mobile Banking requires that you download the Mobile Banking app and is only available for select mobile devices. Message and data rates may apply. This feature is available on the Mobile Banking app for iPhone and Android devices. This feature is not available to all mobile banking customers. Data connection required. Wireless carrier fees may apply.

Zelle® should only be used to send money to friends, family or others you trust. We recommend that you do not use Zelle® to send money to those you do not know. Transfers require enrollment in the service with a U.S. checking or savings account and must be made from an eligible Bank of America consumer or business deposit account. Transactions between enrolled users typically occur in minutes, and transactions between enrolled consumers do not typically incur transaction fees. We will send you an email alert with transaction details after you send money using Zelle®. Dollar and frequency limits apply. See the Online Banking Service Agreement at bankofamerica.com/serviceagreement for further details. Data connection required. Message and data rates may apply. Neither Bank of America nor Zelle® offers a protection program for any authorized payments made with Zelle®. Regular account fees apply.

Zelle® and the Zelle® related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

To send or receive money with a small business, both parties must be enrolled with Zelle® directly through their financial institution’s online or mobile banking experience.

Please do not reply to this email, as email replies are not monitored.

The following message I posted a year ago.

Zelle is an amazing new service started about 4 years ago. The idea of Zelle is to pass money to a person you know like handing them cash but using their email address or phone number for the transfer. HMI receives payments via Zelle and Zelle is used by Millions for simple things like, paying half a pizza. But Zelle also holds key to an easy access scam requiring only a few keys.

Key 1) Zelle is already integrated in to MOST banks and credit unions ALL OVER THE WORLD. And yet MOST PEOPLE have no idea what Zelle is, how it’s used or how to defend their Zelle connection from fraud! I hope to change this by your sharing my post with a friend and family, and by your becoming familiar with the Zelle service. As I said, great service but you need to know about it so as not to get scammed through it.

Key 2) Zelle requires very little to set it up, and assumes YOU the account owner, is the one setting your Zelle up on your bank account. But if you do not know Zelle, what stops a scammer from setting up your Zelle for their use? Please see: “PIN code Hi-Jacking”. If someone calls you, asks you to verify who you are by giving them a code text to your phone, don’t do it!

Key 3) They need your account number (check number or card number) and phone number associated with your account (to send the pin to). Getting this info is not as hard as you think. I rented a movie at Redbox (something I use to do a lot and still do on occasion). This day I was in a hurry and I missed the skimmer attached to the card reader. Within the hour, here I am at home in Arizona and I had just purchased $200 in gas in California! While on the phone with PayPal Debit fraud, the representative said oh look you just bought another $200 in gas in California, joking he said, don’t think you made that purchase… PayPal debit, good people, credited my account those $400 and then took care of the investigation and correction, I was never out the money. Like I said, getting your account number is a lot easier than you think.

So how-to stop this kind of Zelle theft? Become familiar with Zelle, it’s a good service but if you are unaware of how it works, it becomes a risk rather than a help to you. Also, Never give a caller, doesn’t matter who they claim to be, a code that has been text to you over your phone. If you give out that number, you’ve handed them your bank account! Ask who they are, what department they work in, then hang up, call the phone number on the back of your bank card and ask for them, in their department.

How important is this? Why do you need to share this with friends and family? Zelle transfers are expected to be done between two friends. If money is sent via Zelle, and is accepted, it can not be taken back, period! So if your account is hacked, by this Zelle Quick Account Draining method, that money can easily go to a foreign country and never be reclaimed, gone, lost to thieves forever.