How the Bank of America Zelle Scam Works
Potential victims receive a text message purporting to be from Bank of America warning them that someone tried to send $3.5k from their accounts to someone else using Zelle. They will be asked to respond "YES" if valid and "NO" if not. After responding, they will receive a call that appears to be from Bank of America. The caller will identity him/her self by giving his/her name and employee ID. Potential victims will be told that a $3,500 Zelle withdrawal was made from their Bank of America account, which is "pending" and all they had to do was transfer the money back to themselves through Zelle to reverse it. The caller will tell their potential victims that since Zelle is a third-party, they couldn't stop the transaction directly and asked them to send themselves transfers to get their refund. The caller will ask their potential victims to give them a code that came from an email or text because that is the bank the "stolen" funds were sent to.
The caller will then ask their potential victims to transfer the money to themselves, but if the money is sent, it will disappear. It seems the scammers gained illegal access to their potential victims' Zelle accounts and once the money is transferred, they transfer it from the potential victims' accounts to theirs.
How to Protect Yourself
Since the scammers are spoofing Bank America's phone number and using their hold music to make the call appears as if it coming from them, Bank of America customers who receive suspicious calls should hang up and call Bank of America directly using the telephone number at the back of their cards. They should also remember that once they are asked for personal information, account credentials, or codes, it should be a red flag that someone is attempting to scam them. This is because Bank of America and other legitimate organisations will never ask for such information over the phone.