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Daily Hodl Staff
4 days, 23 hours ago

JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Customers Lose $456,000,000 in One Year To ‘Dirty Little Secret Called Zelle’: Senate Committee Chairman

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JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are failing to protect customers from hundreds of millions of dollars in scams and fraud per year, according to a US Senate panel.

At a hearing held by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Democratic Senator and Chairman Richard Blumenthal said the banking giants’ customers submitted claims to recover $456 million in 2022 – all due to fraud and scams on the payments network Zelle.

“The banks of America have a dirty little secret. It’s called Zelle…

Zelle markets itself as ‘A fast and easy way to send and receive money.’ But, as this Committee has found, a fast and easy way to lose money is often what happens on Zelle.”

Senator Blumenthal says Zelle – a network owned by seven US banks including Chase, BofA and Wells Fargo – creates a veil of security while leaving customers far too vulnerable to fraud.

“Zelle transfers are nearly instant and irreversible, and by the time a consumer knows they’ve been scammed, usually it’s too late to do anything about it – at least according to Zelle and according to the banks that own, control, and in effect operate Zelle…

Zelle and the banks that own it offer to customers the appearance of the trust they feel they deserve. But the risks there are real and present, and they simply are failing to protect consumers in the way that they deserve.”

The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that of the $456 million customers reported lost to Zelle scams in 2022, $341 million was repaid. According to the panel, 13% of users on Zelle and other peer-to-peer payment platforms report sending money to someone and later realizing it was a scam.

In response to the Senate panel’s inquiry, Zelle released a statement via its parent company, Early Warning Services, LLC.

“Providing a safe and reliable service to consumers is the top priority of Early Warning Services, LLC, the network operator of Zelle, and our 2,100 participating banks and credit unions.

As a result of our continued efforts to build on Zelle’s strong foundation of security, less than one-tenth of one percent (.1%) of transactions are reported as fraud or scams, making Zelle one of the safest ways for consumers to pay people they know and trust. Zelle is also currently generally free for most consumers.”

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