HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Reports of people falling victim to a scam carried out on a popular mobile app have prompted the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office to issue a warning to residents.
According to the Hanover Sheriff’s Office, Zelle, a mobile app that allows users to send money to each other, alerts users of possible incidents of fraud. However, criminals can impersonate Zelle and send fake fraud alerts.
A new ‘smishing’, or phishing that is done over SMS messaging, scam consists of fake fraud alert messages and calls that appear to be coming from Zelle used to trick victims into sending money to an imposter account.
The Hanover Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips to ward off potential scammers:
- Don’t reply to messages about suspicious activity. Instead, call the financial institution with the phone number listed on their website.
- Never trust caller ID, cybercriminals can change the number that appears to make it looks like someone else is calling.
- Always be cautious of unexpected texts. While this particular scam targets Zelle users, similar smishing scams can be carried out using any financial institution or service.