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Greenacres small business owner warns others after falling for Zelle scam

The owner of a medical and psychiatric services clinic called Contact 5 after someone claiming to be Chase Bank hacked his Zelle account and lost $40,000.

“It was Wednesday. I got a text message that I thought was from Chase because it contained all of Chase’s messages. I think they paid for it,” Acelise Alexis, owner of KA Comprehensive Medical and Psychiatric Services, told Contact 5.

Alexis said she was worried someone had stolen her information and trusted another caller.

“They had access to several of my Zelle recipients. “They tried to get in touch with my sister. They sent a code to her cell phone and said I needed to read it. So I called my sister … I Chase I gave them the code, and I believe it was to verify that I was dealing with my sister.”

Acelise Alexis, owner of KA Comprehensive Medical and Psychiatric Services at Greenacres, said:
Acelise Alexis, owner of Greenacres’ KA Comprehensive Medical and Psychiatric Services, says she lost $40,000 to the Zelle scam.

Using that code, Alexis hacked her account, stole $40,000, and said she was pretending to be Chase Bank all along.

Alexis told Contact 5 this is a big loss for her small business.

“When we first opened, the loan was about $100,000, so we were going to give that money back. We didn’t have the money,” Alexis said.

These days, apps such as Zelle, Venmo, and Cash App are popular for quick transactions, and financial advisors believe that using these apps can prevent someone from stealing your financial information if you’re not careful with people you trust. He warns that it is often tempting to

Learn more: IRS Notifies Business Owners About Zelle Tax Changes

Carl Gould, owner of 7 Stage Advisors, said:

Gould told Contact 5 that skepticism is key when receiving calls or emails from people who want personal or banking information.

“If someone calls me, ‘Oh, what’s your name? What’s your ID number?’ Who’s your boss?'” said Gould. “If they were a legitimate organization, they would give us all that information.”

WPTV Contact 5 Consumer Research Reporter Jessica Bruno, iPhone in hand...
WPTV Contact 5 Consumer Research Reporter Jessica Bruno holds an iPhone with a page to download the Zelle app.

Another option is to hang up and call your bank directly and ask if this is a legitimate call or email. This is what Alexis says he will do next time.

“Hang up now,” said Alexis. “Don’t give out any information. Don’t talk to them. Call your bank. It doesn’t matter what number is on the back of your card. Call them and see if they’re trying to call you.” Check it out. Make sure it’s not. What happened to me?”

Alexis told Contact 5 that he is currently working with a lawyer to try and get his money back.

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