Keeping your money safe and secure is partly about vigilance and knowing how to spot a scammer. Today, we will outline one of the ways fraudsters attempt to take your money; phishing. 

How phishing works

Scammers contact victims by email, telephone or text message posing as a legitimate entity to trick the unsuspecting individual into providing sensitive information such as bank account details, passwords, and other identifying information. The scammer uses this information to gain access to the victim’s accounts, resulting in financial loss.

Phishing Example

Phishing comes in a variety of forms and can target numerous accounts. One example we’ll review today involves Zelle®.

In this example, scammers pose as FirstBank employees to send emails and text messages to customers requesting a Zelle® transaction be verified on the customer account. The text or email message may state something like: 

“FirstBank Fraud Alert – there has been a Zelle® attempt for (dollar amount) from your account. If you did not initiate this transfer reply ‘no’ and a callback will be generated for our fraud department to reach out to you.” 

When replying “no,” a call from a spoofed phone number appearing to be from FirstBank (1-800-964-3444) is then received. Then, the imposter states that there was an attempt at a Zelle® transaction on the account, and they need to verify some information. The imposter will ask for confidential personal and account information, verification codes and, in some instances, request to remote into the customer’s phone or computer or request the customer Zelle® money to themselves to protect it. 

Do not give out any information, hang up, and immediately call FirstBank’s customer service phone number at 1-800-964-3444 or by calling the number on the back of your card.

Do not ever give out your personal or account information to anyone. This includes information such as your account number, card number, PIN number, Social Security Number or any other confidential information. Once again, if you are ever asked for this information over the phone, hang up and immediately call FirstBank’s customer service line at 1-800-964-3444 or by calling the number on the back of your card. 


In order to send payment requests to a U.S. mobile number, the mobile number must already be enrolled in Zelle®.  U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®. Transactions between enrolled consumers typically occur in minutes.  Zelle® and the Zelle® related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.