Oh, Zelle, No!
Selling stuff on the internet is the worst! I’ve had some success on Facebook Marketplace, but you have to weed through all the scam artists. Usually, they’re pretty obvious. Most often they message you and then ask if you’ll communicate over text, where they’ll ask to text you a code that you would then tell them to verify that you’re real. HA!
Today was different, but I had my radar on because something about this guy’s profile picture rubbed me the wrong way. Having been forced to participate in Online Dating for the better part of my 30’s, you start to get a sense for these things.
He immediately asked for my address to come pick it up before we even discussed anything. Like I said, I was already skeptical so there was no way in hell I was giving him my address, especially when Mike is at work. I suggested a nearby bank for the added benefit of the cameras in the parking lot. If I’m going to get abducted, the least I can do is make sure there’s evidence for the police! We agreed on 6 PM so I was relieved I wouldn’t have to go alone.
Then he says his wife will be meeting me because he has to work late. That increased my skepticism, thinking maybe he’d said that to make me put my guard down and come alone. He follows this up with saying she can’t come with cash because her “bank is faulty for now” and how would I like to get the money. I suggested Venmo. It’s an app I use regularly with friends and family and any time I’ve needed to exchange money for a transaction like this. He countered with Zelle.
I checked my banking app because I’ve seen it on there, but I’ve never used it, and it was super easy. You don’t have to download anything, and it goes directly into your bank account.
But here’s the catch with Zelle…it requires personal information to make someone a contact with whom you can exchange money! He asked for my info to send it. I simply replied by asking for his and I’ll do a request. He said he’d prefer to send it himself. I vey bluntly said I wasn’t giving him my information and I’d wait until his wife can get the cash. I do not expect to ever hear from him.
You think you’ll always know when you’re getting taken for a ride, but a more trusting person could have given their name, address, email and phone number, and not realized until it was too late. I have no idea what anyone would do with this information, btu it just seems like a good idea to not give it to strangers on the internet.
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I use my personal experiences to try and help others navigate through life's trials and tribulations.