Posted on May 6, 2021 at 11:56 AM
Security researchers have warned those who use cash sharing apps like Zelle, CashApp, and Venmo that they should be wary of threat actors targeting those apps.
The hackers are currently finding their way into these apps, with some users already falling victims to the cybercriminals.
Experts have recommended that users create a separate bank account for such an app and put only a small amount of money that will be enough for their transactions.
Users have also been advised to find out all they could about the app they are using, as some users have complained about signing up to some f the apps unknowingly.
Some users have lost thousands of funds
Marriage and Family Therapist Natalie Liberman was one of the victims of the hacking campaign. She said she has worked for years to grow a strong financial foundation.
However, a hacker only had to spend few moments to take all the foundation funds away. She told Gray the first sign of trouble came when her phone would not stop ringing.
“I woke up one morning and started getting incessant phone calls,” she said, revealing when she started suspecting something is wrong.
The next morning Liberman discovered that hackers had spoofed her phone and they succeeded in emptying her BoA account via the Zelle money-sharing app. Liberman said the hackers stole $15,000 from the account.
Sadly, she isn’t the only one that has been hacked on the app. Ashley Field reported in 2019 that her Selle account was hacked after she accessed her bank account through a hotel Wi-Fi.
At the time, she said the hackers had accessed her login details, including password, right behind her.
Last year, Steven Wynn and Sharon More, who were CashApp customers, revealed that someone posed as CashApp customer service to trick them into transferring money from their accounts.
Zelle App considered insecure
Wynn said the hackers were very effective in their approach and didn’t take much time to withdraw funds from their accounts.
And as recent as last month, another victim Jeremy Kelly was deceived by hackers through a bogus rental scam. The scammer also asked Kelly to pay with Zelle because it would be easier.
The Zelle app seems to be the main destination for hackers looking to steal users’ funds through cash-sharing apps.
Clark Howard, a WHIO-TV consumer stated that online thieves are increasingly using the app because they find weaknesses they can explore.
Zelle was launched by large banks to provide similar services like Venmo, so some of the users believe it is safe. But on the contrary, the app has been one of the most vulnerable.
Kelly thought she can go to the bank to correct any issue since it’s through a bank, but couldn’t succeed to revert her funds after it has been transferred.
Another negative thing they realized was the fact that their bank automatically signs them up for Zelle without them knowing. This puts the users at greater risk since they are not aware they are signed to the app.
Howard said the law is proving to be losing it against the technology, as it seems the la is far behind the technology. This makes it difficult to control.
Affected users are asked to report to their bank
WHIO-TV pointed out that federal legislators and regulators did not anticipate the emergence of apps like Venmo, CashApp, or Zelle when they were setting laws in the industry.
WHIO-TV contacted the Chair of the Senate Banking Committee, Sherrod Brown, regarding the situation. Brown said he is concerned about the incessant rise of bad actors within the industry but will continue to monitor how banks protect consumers and keep their money safe.
Zelle operators have responded to the hacking activities, saying the company will always invest heavily to fight fraud on its platform. It asked customers to head to their bank for complaints if they believe they have been hacked or impacted in any way.
But Zelle said any customer whose money was stolen from their account by fraudsters would regain their funds.
Liberman admitted that her funds were sent back to her account, but only after WHIO-TV contacted her bank. She said she spent months resolving the situation before then without making any progress.