A recent scam utilizing peer-to-peer payment (P2P) services is tricking people into sending money directly to scammers. It’s known as the “Pay Yourself Scam”. Scammers pretend to be a representative from the person’s bank, contacting them about a “fraudulent” transaction. In order to stop it, the person needs to send money to themselves.
Here’s how it works:
- It starts with a text message that looks like a fraud alert from your bank. It looks real and urgent.
- If you respond to the text message, it will trigger a call from a number that may appear to be your bank.
- The scammer pretends to be calling from your bank and says they can stop the fraud by directing you to send yourself money through Zelle®.
- The scammer will ask for the one-time security code you received from your bank, so they can authorize your payment to yourself.
- In reality, the code will allow them to link their bank account to your phone number or email address.
- Now that money you thought was going to yourself is really going into the scammer’s bank account.
How to protect yourself:
- Don’t share account numbers, PINs, or other personal information with anyone, even if they say they are from your bank.
- Don’t call the number in a text, email, or voice mail. Look up the number online first or check it against the number printed on your debit card.
- Don’t click on links from people you don’t know, even if they claim to be your bank.
Your bank will NEVER ask you for this security code, nor will they ask you to send money to yourself. If you detect suspicious activity regarding Zelle®, contact your bank directly.
If you are a Merrimack customer and are concerned your personal or financial information was compromised, please call us directly at 603.225.2793.