Zella Scam – Watch Out Facebook Market Place Sellers

I sell things online at times like many people. I ran across a scammer today trying to get me to send them money. The scam works like this. First, they reach out and ask to buy your item. They ask if you take Zella. If you say yes, they will ask for your name and email. They will send you a fake email to confirm payment. That email will claim you don’t have a business account. In order to get a business account, the sender must send more money (in my case a 500 dollar limit). The ask from them is you send back the “over charge” which essentially is what they are trying to take from you.

The fake emails will look like this. The scammer was pretty lame and used a gmail account aka [email protected] Its easy to figure this out by 1) looking at the sending email 2) think about why you would not see any activity in your actual account 3) Why you would need more money in order to receive money. The person sending this was also using a fake facebook account that had a attractive lady. All of it just led to flags for scam. Be careful and trust nobody online without some form of true verification.

The funniest flag about this is the official email says I need 500 dollars for a business account however, it asks me to have the sender send 500 dollars on top of the 200 dollars and then refund the 500 and keep the 200??? Wouldn’t that mean a business account requires 700 dollars? I guess scammers don’t understand math.

Here is the second fake email ——————————————————————-

You have received an additional payment of $500.00 USD



Congratulations!!!!! Your Zelle account has been upgraded to a business account.

You have received an additional payment of $500.00 USD from (Micheal Olivia) and your account will be fully credited with the total sum of $700.00 USD
Your funds is now safe with us and for buyer’s safety, the additional payment has to be refunded for your account to be fully credited with the total sum of $700.00 USD. The buyer has choosen to be refunded the sum of $500.00 USD through Zelle. 

Final steps to follow:
1. Get your Zelle account Ready.2. Your buyer zelle information: 3. Send the total of $500.00 USD to the given account.
4. You are required to send us clear proof (screenshot) that Payment has reflected to your buyer account . 
IMPORTANT NOTE: YOUR FUNDS HAS BEEN APPROVED AND SECURED SO YOU ARE TO CARRY ON WITH THE INSTRUCTION GIVEN ABOVE FOR YOUR ACCOUNT TO BE FULLY CREDITED WITH THE TOTAL SUM OF $700.00 USD.

Thanks for choosing Zelle and we are looking forward to serve all our valuable customers better. 

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4 thoughts on “Zella Scam – Watch Out Facebook Market Place Sellers”

  1. Thanks for this article. I have twice posted something to FB Marketplace and both times, within an hour, someone is interested in it, says their brother will come pick it up and they will pay through zelle. Since zelle is intended to be “used between friends” and I don’t have it set up yet, I asked for cash. The second time it happened, he also said he uses venmo (same scam?), but I said I don’t trust the security on mobile phones, that there is an ATM nearby. Neither of them are interested anymore. … I appreciate you laying out how the scam works. I did read another article of someone who was scammed in another way, but I’m thinking bottom line is, cash works. … Oh, and the misspelling and grammar errors in your received email – another huuuge red flag! No professional organization would be that sloppy.

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    1. Me too! I had someone say their brother would pick up a patio table from me and unfortunately I gave them my address. Well my brother is at my house right now for if they show up before the meeting time and try to take it. I got a weird email from Zelle Pay [email protected]. It’s a fake and the lady hasn’t messaged me back. She kept up good dialog until the very last text… then she had some grammatical english mistakes common with hackers. Sellers beware. I have two dogs at home too so I hope they don’t try to show up until I get off work.

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  2. It just happened to me! I posted an item through Facebook marketplace, and at 5AM the next morning a lady “Denice Finn” was interested in, but way too interest like, please Hold it for me! I can pay you through Zelle or Cash app, so I did sent her my email address, for Zelle, and then I got the fist email, so I told her and sent her some screenshots, then she told me that since she has a business account and I did not, she would have to send me $400 in order to “Upgrade” my account to “Business Account” so she sent me “the additional $400” so I got the second email:
    Final steps to follow:
    1. Get your account ready
    2. Contact the sender for the information to refund back ($400.00 USD).
    3. Take a picture of the total sum of ($400.00 USD) been successfully sent and reply to this email for verification of refund so we can release the total sum of
    ($500.00 USD).
    She told me to follow instruction from email (steps above) and i noticed that i needed to send the “$400 refund” first in order to get the total sum of “$500” ($100 payment of item and $400 to upgrade my account to business) so i told her that I did not have that amount on my checking account (I lied of course) and she was, Oh, so how much do you have? I told her $151 dlls, and she was like, Oh, I’m going to call Zelle on my end to see what I can do, Hold on okay. So I just to blocked her.

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  3. Thanks for all of the feedback on this topic. I post about what I see, and this scam is happening on facebook market place, craiglist, etc. today. Technical things to look for are the email (zella.gmail), broken language, etc however, socially just question if this could be a scam. Go directly to websites vs clicking hot links. Use google like you did to find my post to see if others are seeing a scam. If you think like this, you won’t be fooled by these types of scams. There is NO PROBLEM with questioning things. Especially if it seems too good to be true such as somebody overpaying for something. – JOEY the security blogger

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