Check/Zelle fraud

  • Hi my junior college going son is a victim of a fraud. Some one impersonated as his college professor , send him a check for $ 3950 and asked him to zelle the amount to couple of people. Once money was transferred via zelle, within couple of days the bank where the check was deposited , contacted my son saying the bank was not able to clear the check , my sons account balance is now negative and my son needs to pay the bank $ 3950. It is also going to charge $ 6 per day until this amount is paid and balance is brought back to zero or positive.
    Meanwhile, banks fraud department is investigating , and the complaint has been filed with the local police.
    I have heard these kinds of frauds before and wondering how does this end ?
    Is it not banks responsibility to wait for the funds to be available until check is cleared ?
    Shouldn’t bank take it to its insurance and get this covered ? (FDIC insured ?)
    Does my son need to pay $ 3950- (which is a huge amount for a college going part time working person), or he can just wait out until bank / police investigation is completed ?
    Any response is highly appreciated.

  • Global Moderator

    No, the bank does not have responsibility to wait for checks to clear to make the funds available to the customer. Regulation CC governs this, and banks are typically required to make funds available to the customer within 2 business days of the deposit. The bank is not responsible because the customer willingly sent the money and FDIC insurance does not come into play here nor does the bank’s insurance. Your son will likely have to pay the $3950 unless the police can catch the thief and recover the money which is highly unlikely. He should likely chalk this up to experience of not sending money through Zelle unless he’s absolutely certain of what he’s doing. Unfortunately, there are so many scams like this out there, but he likely will learn from this and never fall for another one so that’s one positive to focus on.

  • @jtownsucks46 - I am still optimistic about police catching the criminal, and law taking its course. In any case, looks like my son should learn a very important and likely expensive lesson early on in his adult life. Hopefully he will learn. Thank you for your reply.

  • Global Moderator

    Fingers crossed the police catch the scammer and recover the money. Let us know what ends up happening!

  • 500 Club

    @rusty95 said in Check/Zelle fraud:

    @jtownsucks46 - I am still optimistic about police catching the criminal, and law taking its course.

    Criminal is probably in Nigeria so good luck with that. Why would his professor send him $3950 and have him send the amount to a couple of people? Why didn’t the professor send the money directly? Why didn’t son call the professor and ask what this was for? Don’t they teach common sense in high school so this won’t happen?

  • @atikovi - Here is what happened.
    He applied for a summer internship to his college. My son got email (s) from his college professor with professor name and college domain, so he never suspected. When all was evident to be a fraud, my son realized that college email software / network (or whatever…) was compromised. But to your point, there is no excuse for my son not to use common sense. looks like he has to swallow this bitter pill as growing pains - sad-.


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