Scammers Use Zelle to Target Your Side Hustle

It is indisputable that listing stuff on Facebook Marketplace is one of the most effective ways to get rid of things you no longer require. It is possible to produce additional income via the market, which can then be used to buy luxuries such as holidays, new furnishings, or even just a fun night out with friends. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a fraud notice for those individuals who sell their wares on Facebook Marketplace. Users of Facebook Marketplace should be wary of scams involving Zelle, in which fraudulent purchasers attempt to acquire expensive things using the popular peer-to-peer lending app Zelle. This con is also known as the “Zelle business account fraud,” according to some people.

What precisely is Zelle?

Users can send money to other users at other banks in a couple of minutes while using Zelle. To send money to a recipient, all you need is their email address or phone number, and the app will take care of the rest. This con is being organized by utilizing an email account that legitimately belongs to a seller.

Scam involving Zelle Business Accounts: How Does It Operate?

The fraud is directed at sellers on the marketplace who have listed pricey items worth several hundred dollars.

Zelle is the payment method that is used when buyers make contact with merchants to request to acquire products. When the seller approves, the buyer will inquire about the seller’s email address to send the money. However, the purchaser does not send money.

The buyer is sending a fake Zelle email to the seller. According to the email, for the seller to be able to accept payment, they would need to upgrade to a Zelle business account, which will cost them several hundred dollars.

The buyer contacted the seller directly, stating they received the same email from Zelle and handed the seller enough money to pay the purchase and upgrade cost. This is done to make things simpler for both parties. They then submit a request to the vendor requesting that they be reimbursed for the upgrade charge. They give the seller phony images and paperwork purporting to be proof of payment to convince the seller to release a refund without first verifying that they have been paid.

Even though the BBB warning mentions Zelle and Facebook Marketplace, con artists can utilize Venmo, CashApp, other peer-to-peer lending applications, and other marketplaces like Offer Up and Craig list. 

The following are some pointers that might be useful in identifying this con as well as others:

• Do not let yourself be misled by assurances of prompt payment or replies to inquiries.

• Just because something appears to have been written by a professional doesn’t always guarantee it was.

• The presence of an urgent need is virtually always a warning sign.

You will not get an email from Zelle regarding Facebook Marketplace under any circumstances.


Be on the lookout for warning signs and check your emails and payments to avoid falling victim to a Zelle scam on Facebook Marketplace. In this scenario, Zelle can quickly determine whether or not a seller’s request to upgrade their account is genuine. In addition, sellers must never reverse payments without ensuring that the funds have been successfully deposited into their respective accounts.