Many of you know my primary income is from rental real estate, both commercial and residential.

And I love to use Zelle because we often pay vendors and have checks lost in the mail never to be heard from again.

If you use Zelle, whether it is to rent property, sell an item, or buy event tickets from someone on Facebook or some other social media platform, you need to watch out for scammers. This also applies to Venmo, Pay Pal, and the Cash App.

Here is a warning article from one of my apartment newsletters:

IRVINE, Calif. — Esther Jung was trying to sublet her UC Irvine-adjacent apartment when she heard from a potential renter. “She sent me her ID which established some form of credibility,” Jung said.

Bakersfield’s Ralph Hunt was trying to rent an apartment in Utah. “I started looking on Craigslist,” Hunt told our sister station in San Francisco, KGO-TV, “and I found a listing for what they called a basement unit.” Both Jung and Hunt got taken in and taken advantage of.

Jung’s fake renter even built a relationship. “She told me about herself. She asked me to tell her about myself,” Jung said. “She seemed more interested in looking at the apartment.”

The “renter” sent Jung a check and then, shortly thereafter, asked for the money back. Jung checked and it appeared to have cleared the bank.

“So I gave her, her money back and it turned out the check was a fraud,” she says. “In total, I lost $2,905 which is a lot for a college student.”

The conman setting up Hunt sent all kinds of paperwork: applications, leases — it looked so legit. “Yeah in total I paid $1,100,” says Hunt. And that’s when the fake landlord just disappeared.

You can read the article here for confirmation: Fake renter scams now taking advantage of Zelle to receive money from victims – AAOA (

The point is to be very sure of whom you are dealing with.

To Your Prosperity,