How to Send Money with Zelle Safely

Zelle® is a fast, safe and easy way to send and receive money with people you trust, like your babysitter, your fellow PTA mom, your son’s soccer coach, or your co-worker. Whether you just enrolled with Zelle® or have been an active user for a while, there are a few tips you should always keep in mind to ensure you are being safe when sending money.

Only send money to people you know and trust.

Money moves fast with Zelle®, directly from your checking account to the recipient’s checking account – within minutes.* So, it’s important you know and trust the people you’re sending money to.

Why? Because you can’t cancel a payment once it’s been sent, if the recipient is already enrolled with Zelle®. And if you send money to someone you don’t know for a product or service you might not receive (like paying for something in advance), you may not get your money back. Keep in mind that sending money with Zelle® is similar to handing someone cash.

Beware of payment scams.

One example of a payment scam is buying event tickets at a price that seems too good to be true – from a stranger, and never receiving them. If the seller asks you to use Zelle® to purchase the tickets, you should refuse unless the seller is a person you personally know.

Also, keep in mind that no one from First Financial will ever ask you to send them money with Zelle® as a test, or to send money to avoid a fraud event.

Neither First Financial nor Zelle® offers a protection program for authorized payments made with Zelle®. So, if you aren’t sure you will get what you paid for, you should instead use another payment method with purchase protection, such as a credit card.

Treat Zelle® like cash.

Did your friend change phone numbers recently? It’s easy for people to change their phone number or email address. When in doubt, contact your friend to verify the email or U.S. mobile number they used to enroll with Zelle® before you hit “Send.” Another good check point for ensuring you’re paying the right person, is to confirm the first name that is displayed for Zelle® enrolled emails and U.S. mobile numbers.

If a person has already enrolled a U.S. mobile number or email address with Zelle®, you can’t cancel the transaction – so it’s important you get it right the first time.

If you’d like more information on safely using person-to-person (P2P) payments, check out these articles from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Helpful Tips for Using Mobile Payments Services and Avoiding Risky Mistakes

Tips on Using Peer-to-Peer Payment Systems and Apps

How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure Online

Some final reminders:

  • Always use caution when sending or receiving money from someone you don’t know. Scammers can trick people into sending money through a person-to-person payment app without upholding their end of the deal. And once the money leaves your account and is transferred to the scammer, there is little you can do to get it back.
  • Double check before pressing send. Be sure you are sending your payment to the correct person by double checking their user name, phone number, or email address before you hit the send payment button.
  • Setup your P2P payment app to require a password before making a payment. Setting up a password, PIN, or fingerprint before making a payment with a person-to-person payment app is a great way to ensure authentication first. This also prevents a fraudster from gaining easy access to your mobile phone payment methods and making payments from your account.
  • Contact your financial institution right away if you suspect any errors. If you notice any fraudulent transactions within your P2P payment app, contact your bank or credit union right away to report it.

*U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®. Transactions between enrolled users typically occur in minutes.

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

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