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Elliott Greenblott | Fraud Watch: How to avoid money transfer scams | Business

Zelle? Venmo? Are you familiar with these? Do you use them? Regardless of whether your answers are yes or no, they are systems that can make the transfer of money more convenient, and all you need is a bank account, credit card and a cellphone. In themselves, they are not fraudulent and might serve a critical role in dealing with emergencies that require that money be moved quickly.

Zelle and Venmo are identified as “peer-to-peer” payment systems. Zelle was created by several major banks while Venmo is part of PayPal. Both systems require registration: You can often sign up for Zelle through your bank or credit union, and receive or use funds in your own accounts; Venmo conducts business between Venmo accounts/balances.

Are these money transfer systems fast? Very! A money transfer takes only a couple minutes. Zelle withdraws and deposits money into an existing bank or brokerage account. Venmo uses PayPal to do the same thing, and if you are making a purchase but do not have sufficient funds, Venmo debits the credit card linked to the account. Generally, no fee is charged for transactions but as with everything else, check with the system being used before doing anything.

So far, this seems to be a harmless way to do business. It can be very convenient when dealing with friends or family to get money from one place to another, but as Zelle…

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