Banks are making it faster than ever to send money to your friends and family, but it may be too easy.
Zelle, a service to instantly send money from your banking app, has thousands of new users signing up every day and is part of the biggest banks mobile apps including Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo.
The speed and universality that makes Zelle so useful are beckoning thieves to the service.
The New York Times reports hackers and con artists have used the service to steal from victims — some of whom had never heard of Zelle until their bank accounts got cleaned out.
“I know of one bank that was experiencing a 90 percent fraud rate on Zelle transactions, which is insane,” Genevieve Gimbert, a partner in PwC’s financial crimes unit, told the New York Times.
Most banks have implemented strong authentication and fraud-detection controls for Zelle, like two-factor authentication, but Gimbert says some “just implemented it without any protections.”
Some $75 billion moved through Zelle’s network last year.