First Financial Northwest Bank

Fraud Scams Gaining Attention Nationwide

February 24, 2022

As a concerned bank we want our customers to be safe and secure when using their bank accounts and services. It has been reported there has been a uptick in recent Zelle fraud scams which we want to point out to our customers.

The scam starts with a fraudster sending a text message to a customer, which looks like it came from the bank, asking the customer if they authorized a money transfer through Zelle from their account. The appearance of the text can easily confuse a customer to think it might be a valid bank representative.

The process of the scam is:

  • When the customer responds to the text message, they will immediately get a call from someone claiming to be from their Bank and offering assistance.
  • The fraudster will then tell the customer to recover the unauthorized transfers the customer will need to make a “reverse transfer” to themselves through Zelle.
  • The fraudster will them walk them through the process, often times even giving them a PIN number to complete the transaction.  By doing this, the customer is actually sending money out of the account to the fraudster.  What makes this even more difficult, is that these type of transactions are almost impossible to recover as the money is transferred quickly. 
  • With the customer actively sending the funds, even under false pretenses, makes them an active participant with no recourse, even if they were tricked or scammed
  • The bank can attempt to recover the funds, but with these fraud schemes, the funds are immediately withdrawn at the receiving bank and the fraudsters are long gone with the money before any recovery attempts can take place.
  • As a reminder to our customers, we will never contact you and ask you to initiate any type of transfers, to themselves or others, to prevent or stop fraud from happening. 
  • Additionally, please never share access codes, PIN’s or passwords with anyone, including bank employees.


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