Wells Fargo class action alleges lender does not protect customers from Zelle scams

Exterior of a Wells Fargo Bank.
(Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/Wikimedia)

Wells Fargo Zelle class action lawsuit overview:

  • Who: Wells Fargo and Zelle have been hit with a class action by a customer who says he was scammed out of $7,500.
  • Why: The plaintiff says he was scammed by thieves targeting Wells Fargo customers through Zelle.
  • Where: The class action lawsuit was filed in Washington federal court.

Wells Fargo and Zelle fail to protect customers from scammers who use Zelle’s mobile payment app to steal from the bank’s customers’ accounts, a new class action lawsuit alleges.

Plaintiff Luke Hartsock filed the class action lawsuit against the two financial giants June 1 in a Washington federal court, alleging negligence and violations of consumer protection laws. 

According to the lawsuit, thieves who target Wells Fargo bank customers through Zelle scammed Hartsock out of $7,500.

On two occasions, Hartsock says a con mimicked Wells Fargo’s identity and the texts and phone calls that the bank uses to communicate with customers in cases of fraud. The scammer even mimicked a Wells Fargo customer service agent, asking him to send money, he says..

Hartsock disputed the transactions with Wells Fargo, but the bank initially refused to reimburse him, he says in the class action. Wells Fargo eventually credited $3,500 to his account, but Hartsock says he is still seeking the additional $4,000. 

Wells Fargo, Zelle aware of widespread fraud, class action claims 

According to the lawsuit, Wells Fargo and Early Warning Services LLC, which operates Zelle, fail to take enough actions to protect their banking customers. 

He says the companies are aware of the widespread fraud and that Zelle is vulnerable to scammers but aren’t willing to invest in further protections.

“The immediacy of Zelle’s service has made it a favorite primarily among consumers, but that has made it a favorite among criminals, who can access bank accounts directly,” the class action lawsuit says. “Once scammers can scare or trick their victims into sending money via Zelle, they can siphon away thousands of dollars in seconds.”

The lawsuit is suing for negligence and violations of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

Hartsock seeks certification of the class action, damages, fees, costs and a jury trial. He wants to represent all Wells Fargo account holders who have unresolved disputed withdrawals from using Zelle. 

Meanwhile, a consumer hit Navy Federal Credit Union with a class action lawsuit alleging it fails to properly inform its account holders that they will not be reimbursed for any financial losses caused by fraud on Zelle.

Have you been scammed through Zelle? Let us know your experience in the comments! 

Hartsock is represented by Laura R. Gerber and Nathan L. Nanfelt of Keller Rohrback LLP.

The Wells Fargo Zelle Class Action Lawsuit is Luke Hartsock v. Wells Fargo & Co. et al., Case No. 2:22-cv-00759, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.


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The post Wells Fargo class action alleges lender does not protect customers from Zelle scams appeared first on Top Class Actions.

Wells Fargo class action alleges lender does not protect customers from Zelle scams