Yes, you heard it right.
Remember the scammers using phony checks, Paypal, Venmo, Square Cash, peppered bills? Well, now the scammers are using Zelle. Zelle is usually attached to bank accounts so buyers feel a little safer, but it’s the same scam.
Craigslist and 3rd party ticket selling sites is a great place to buy tickets for cheap at a lower price, but scammers have been looming. One of our staff member was a victim this weekend.
How does the Zelle scam work?
There will be a listing of a ticket for a popular event
They will take almost any offer
Scammer will ask you to pay by Venmo or Zelle
Scammers are getting clever and they may send a believable screen shot of the seat and receipt
Once you pay, they will block your phone number
I’ve been scammed, what can I do?
Call your bank and talk to the fraud department.
They are usually open on weekdays so you may need to wait until Monday as unnerving as that can be. Don’t worry, it won’t be late.
The bank staff knows about this staff really well so they will ask you the following
- What happened?
- Why do you think you were scammed?
- What is your best contact #.
After those information’s provided, the bank will take 10 days to investigate and try to retrieve your funds back. You will get a call back
How I was scammed on Zelle
I was looking for a ticket for the LA Angels baseball game
Since it was last minute, I thought there may be some tickets on Craigslist where people decided not to last minute and low and behold!
I’m not sure what pair of tickets is going for $130, but I do like the sound of “OBO” – “or best offer”
I went ahead to find out what this Marlon’s contact info is
area code 323? That is the Los Angeles, Beverly Hills area code. Seems ok so far. How much should I offer. Let’s low ball at $80 for two!
And then the seller sends me what looks like a receipt
Wow! $90 Seats and Marlon is willing to let them go for $40 each!?!?! MVP Seats! MVP Seats! I had to check on the seating charts
Wow! What would it look like?!
OK ok ok ok ok ok, I must take these before someone else does
This should’ve been a red flag, but I just wanted this to be so real and didn’t want to lose the chance that I ignored the red flag.
Enthusiastically logged into Bank of America and..
and that’s when my $80 was gone.
After realizing, I felt silly trying to save a few bucks and just went to Stub Hub and paid the full price for two tickets for similar seats.
Ended up betting $250 on the Angels to get back what I lost and the Angels lost HORRIBLY
It was just one of those days. All I could do was laugh at the end of the day on how bad the day went.
I took the $80 as a learning lesson, but gave BofA a call. Their fraud department was closed, but the worker did tell me that Zelle payments are easy to track so it would be silly to run any scam through it.
I disagree, I’m sure the scammers know what they are doing. Maybe using a hacked account.
Gave a call to Bofa again on Monday and they were very helpful. Just asked me what happened and wrote up a report. They said they will try to get my funds back and report back after 10 days. I’m not expecting anything out of it, but hopefully writing this can save someone that’s about to pay using Zelle.
Tips to Avoid Being Ripped Off on Craigslist
- Meet in Person for the exchange – Ask to see ID but be fair and show yours too.
- Ask to talk over Facebook and make sure they have a healthy Facebook page with a history where they are interacting with friends
- Ask the seller if you can pay once you confirm the tickets are valid upon entering
- You can ask the seller to send you a request through Paypal so you can easily file a dispute if an issue happens. Not the best method since you still need to file a dispute which can take weeks to get back your funds