Navegó a una página que no está disponible en español en este momento. Seleccione el enlace si desea ver otro contenido en español.

Página principal

3 tips to avoid online payment scams

Stay safe when sending payments

Online payments allow you to electronically send funds from your Wells Fargo account directly to another person or organization.

When you’re sending money, we make online payments fast and simple with services such as Zelle® and wire transfers.

While these options are convenient, they are also attractive targets for online payment scams because the money is often impossible to retrieve.

Here are three tips that can help you make safe online payments. 

Tip 1: Zelle® payments are similar to sending cash

Zelle® is a fast and convenient way to send or receive money with friends, family, or others with a bank account in the U.S.

When you use Zelle® from the Wells Fargo Mobile® app or Wells Fargo Online®, payments can be made directly to the recipient’s bank account within minutes.

Zelle® business account scams occur when you receive an email that someone has paid you with Zelle® but you must pay a fee to upgrade your account to a business account in order to receive the money.


Once you authorize a Zelle® payment to be sent, the payment can only be canceled if the recipient has not yet enrolled with Zelle®.

In this way, Zelle® is similar to sending cash.

Don’t use Zelle® unless you know and trust the recipient because in most cases, you probably won’t be able to get those payments back.

Learn more about how to “Pay It Safe” with security tips from Zelle®.

Online payment scams to avoid:

  • Seller scams request a payment in return for a phony service or product that you never receive.
  • Buyer scams occur when a scammer pretends to “overpay” for a product you are selling, then asks you to pay the difference back to them.
  • Pay-in-advance scams promise a large “payoff” in return for an up-front fee.
  • “Pay Yourself” scams request that you to send a “refund” to yourself using Zelle®. However, the money is being sent to an account that the scammer controls.

Tip 2: Guard your private information

The information you use to access your Wells Fargo accounts is private and should never be shared with anyone.

This includes Wells Fargo.


We will never contact you and ask you to share your password, personal identification number (PIN), or one-time access codes with our employees.

Savvy scammers may attempt to impersonate a Wells Fargo employee and ask you to share this private information.

When in doubt, hang up and contact us directly.

Online payment scam to avoid:

In some cases, they can make the phone number that appears on your caller ID look like the call is from Wells Fargo.

They may attempt to get you to share your password, PIN, or one-time access code to "reverse a transfer," "receive a refund," or something similar.

If they have your private account access information, they can send or receive online payments without your permission.


Tip 3: Question unusual payment requests

In addition to impersonating Wells Fargo employees, scammers may also pose as the IRS, a utility company, tech support, a real estate company, or even a friend or relative who “needs help.”

The common thread in these scams is that they often demand immediate payment.

By forcing you to act quickly, you are less likely to question the request.

Don’t be rushed.


When you receive an unexpected text, email, or voice message requesting a payment, do not reply, click links, or call phone numbers included in that communication.

Instead, contact the person or organization directly using existing contact information to confirm the source of the request.

Online payment scams to avoid:

  • Imposter scams involve a scammer who poses as someone you trust and demands a fast payment using Zelle®, a wire transfer, a money transfer company, or cryptocurrency.
  • Refund scams occur when a scammer acts as if they owe you money and pretend to send you a higher, incorrect “refund” amount. They then ask that you return the “overpayment” using a method such as Zelle® or another payment method.
  • Payment app scams involve a text or email that ask you to confirm a large, fake payment. If you reply to the message, the scammer may call you back and pretend to be a bank representative.

Remember: Gift cards or prepaid credit cards should never be used for payments — such requests are clear signs of a scam.

Contact us right away if there’s a problem

If you believe you have sent money or provided private information due to an online payment scam, fraudulent activity, or something just doesn’t seem right — contact us immediately.

We will review your transactions and work with you to understand the issue.

You are also invited to learn more about how Wells Fargo protects you and the other security steps you can take to stay safe online