Hackers target cash-sharing apps like Zelle, CashApp, and Venmo. According to Natalie Liberman, a marriage and family therapist told reporters it took scammed moments to take away her hard-earned money.
She said the first signs of trouble came when her phone stopped ringing. She started getting incessant phone calls when she woke up in the morning. It was only until the next day she realized her phone was hacked. The hackers managed to steal $15000 from her Bank of America account using the money-sharing app, Zelle.
Lieberman is not the only victim there are a number of victims. Earlier in 2019, Ashley Field was hacked using her Zelle account, she used her hotel Wifi to log into her bank.
She said the hackers were able to sneak into her account by stealing her login details and password without her knowledge.
Sharon Moore and Steven Wynn in 2020, customers using CashApp were scammed into transferring money to someone posing as CashApp customer service. Both the victims confirmed the scammers were smooth and by the time they realized any foul play, all their money was gone.
Kelly, another victim, told the media he was tricked into a fake rental scam and ended up paying them via the Zelle app.
Kelly said Zelle was created by big banks to compete with apps like Venmo, so he thought it would be safe. Since it was through a bank he thought if anything happens, he can go to the bank and stop transactions.
While in the case of Howard, Zelle gave the hackers direct access to his money. As many customers are automatically signed up by their bank for Zelle without them knowing.
There is nothing that the law can do right now when it comes to consumer protections, as the technology is way ahead of it all.
There is silence as far as federal regulations are concerned, as the regulators and the legislators never could have anticipated having an app like Zelle, Cashapp, or Venmo.
Sherrod Brown, Senator, Ohio told news reporters, “I’m concerned about hacking and bad actors and will continue to monitor how banks are keeping consumers’ money safe.”
Early Warning Services LLC, the operator of Zelle, said, “We continually invest in fraud-fighting resources.”
Zelle has convinced its customers, their money will be returned in case scammers or hackers gained unauthorized access to their bank accounts.
According to Liberman, even after four months of calls and emails, she saw no progress. It was only after the press intervened was her money returned by Bank of America.
She thanked the media for helping her get back her money. It would be better if people opt out to use Zelle services. While those using apps such as Venmo or Cashapp, it is better to use a separate bank account to link to it and put only money in there for those transactions.