Payment apps ‘painful lesson’: Much easier to be scammed than Chicago business owner using Zelle realized

The text message warned Brinda Gupta that her Zelle peer-to-peer payment account had been compromised.

“He was very professional sounding,” says Gupta, a Chicago business owner.

The text that she got a week ago included a real phone number for Bank of America, which co-owns the Zelle payment app.

And it was followed by a phone call, also from what appeared to be a Bank of America number, which went to her voicemail.

Worried, Gupta, who runs a writing and editing business, called the number right away, hoping to straighten out whatever was wrong.

As she waited in the bank’s automatic phone menu, pressing digits to reach various sections, her phone rang again — and again, it showed a Bank of America number.

So she took the call, and a man who identified himself as a fraud officer from the bank said he’d help protect her accounts.

Gupta now realizes that the man on the phone wasn’t from her bank. And he wasn’t trying to help her, only…

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