Marketplace and Zelle – Rich with Scams
Recently my wife went to marketplace to place an item up for sale. Within moments the text messages started coming in from scammers. These scammers want to use Zelle for payments – however they don’t want to use Zelle if you don’t give them an email address. Zelle works fine with a mobile number, however scammers have a difficult time sending fake text messages to you so they want an email. With email you can spoof the website. It doesn’t work with text messages and that is why Zelle has two different options to set up your account.
We did not get scammed however this is what you can expect if you place an item for sale on Facebooks Marketplace.
- Immediate responses from scammers wanting to buy your item.
- They want to use Zelle because people do not understand how it works. Yes it works with your email address or mobile number but they want your email address.
- They don’t want you to give you the mobile number for payment (it works) because then they can send out scam emails saying they sent your payment – and something went wrong.
- If you are sucked into the fake email… scammers give you a fradulent link to Zelle (which it isn’t) which asks for your login information.
- Once this is done they drain your checking account.
- It is a very simple scam and after they have taken everything they wipe their presence on the web.
Advice, Never place anything on Marketplace or Craigs list – or anything other than a reputable company such as Ebay. The reason is that they have to use a legitimate PayPal account to pay you on Ebay which has protections set up to protect you.
Zelle and Venmo have zero protections for the consumer, and they have no bones about telling you that. They tell you up front not to use their payment format to buy things. It is only meant to send cash quickly to friends and family – otherwise people you know.
Never use Zelle or Venmo to purchase anything on the web. There is no guarantee that you will get your item and they tell you it is your problem if you don’t get it. They are very clear about how the account is supposed to be used – quick money transfers to friends and family only.
If you already made this mistake ignore the emails and block the texts (that is if they send the email saying they tried to send money and it didn’t go through.) This is how the scam works.
If you have questions about scams on Marketplace, scams with Venmo or Zelle simply read about it on the web. There is lots of articles.