Avoid Scams This Holiday Season

Avoid Holiday Scammers

Stay safe when sending payments- Avoid Online Scams this Holiday Season!

Online payments allow you to electronically send funds from your account directly to another person or organization.

When you’re sending money, we make online payments fast and simple with services such as Zelle® and wire transfers.

While these options are convenient, they are also attractive targets for online payment scams because the money is often impossible to retrieve.

Here are three tips that can help you make safe online payments.

Tip 1: Zelle® payments are similar to sending cash

Zelle® is a fast and convenient way to send or receive money with friends, family, or others with a bank account in the U.S.

When you use Zelle® from your banks Mobile® app or your bank  Online, payments can be made directly to the recipient’s bank account within minutes.



Once you authorize a Zelle® payment to be sent, the payment can only be canceled if the recipient has not yet enrolled with Zelle®.


In this way, Zelle® is similar to sending cash.

Don’t use Zelle® unless you know and trust the recipient because in most cases, you probably won’t be able to get those payments back.

Learn more about how to “Pay It Safe” with security tips from Zelle®.

Online payment scams to avoid:

  • Seller scams request a payment in return for a phony service or product that you never receive.
  • Buyer scams occur when a scammer pretends to “overpay” for a product you are selling, then asks you to pay the difference back to them.
  • Advance fee scams promise a large “payoff” in return for an up-front fee.
  • “Pay Yourself” scams  request that you to send a “refund” to yourself using Zelle®. Then, the scammer may fraudulently redirect your payment to an account that they control.

Tip 2: Guard your private information

The information you use to access your bank accounts is private and should never be shared with anyone.

This includes your bankers.



Financial Institutions will never contact you and ask you to share your password, personal identification number (PIN), or one-time access codes with our employees.


Savvy scammers may attempt to impersonate your bank as an employee and ask you to share this private information.

When in doubt, hang up and contact your bank directly.

Online payment scam to avoid:

In some cases, they can spoof the phone number that appears on your caller ID, making it appear as if the call is from “your bank.”

They may attempt to get you to share your password, PIN, or one-time access code so that they can “reverse a transfer,” “receive a refund,” or something similar.

If they have your private account access information, they can send or receive online payments without your permission.

Tip 3: Question unusual payment requests

In addition to impersonating bank employees, scammers may also pose as the IRS, a utility company, tech support, a real estate company, or even a friend or relative who “needs help.”

The common thread in these scams is that they often demand immediate payment.

By forcing you to act quickly, you are less likely to question the request.

Don’t be rushed.



When you receive an unexpected text, email, or voice message requesting a payment, do not reply, click links, or call phone numbers included in that communication.

Instead, contact the person or organization directly using existing contact information to confirm the source of the request.

Online payment scams to avoid:

  • Imposter scams involve a scammer who poses as someone you trust and demands a fast payment using Zelle®, a wire transfer, a money transfer company, or cryptocurrency.
  • Refund scams occur when a scammer acts as if they owe you money and pretend to send you a higher, incorrect “refund” amount. They then ask that you return the “overpayment” using a method such as Zelle® or another payment method.
  • Payment app scams involve a text or email that ask you to confirm a large, fake payment. If you reply to the message, the scammer may call you back and pretend to be a bank representative.
  • Gift cards or prepaid credit cards should never be used for payments — such requests are clear signs of a scam.

Contact us right away if there’s a problem 919-886-6274

If you believe you are the victim of an online payment scam, fraudulent activity, or something just doesn’t seem right — Contact your bank immediately.

They will review your transactions and work with you to understand the issue.

You are also invited to learn more about how your bank protects you and the other security steps you can take to stay safe online this holiday season!

Sign up for our Quarterly Safety News Letter Here: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/WTMv7Gs

(information for this article was shared from Wells Fargo Bank)

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