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Mistakes while using digital payment apps could cost you

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Posted at 5:00 AM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 06:20:56-05

Splitting the dinner bill or paying a friend for doing an odd job has gotten easier with the help of digital payment apps, but what happens if you send the money to the wrong person?

Jessica and her husband Vincent say one digit turned an easy home upgrade into a nightmare.

A friend had just painted their home and needed to be paid.

"I said, 'Okay, well, I'll send it to you right now.' And I missed one digit on the phone number," said Jessica.

The couple used Zelle, and that meant the $800 intended for their friend ended up in the bank account of a stranger.

Jessica says she went to her bank trying to get the money back but was denied because it wasn't considered fraud. They then went to Zelle, but had troubles getting through. When they finally did, they said she had to go to the bank to fix it.

"So, everyone's like, pointing fingers, and no one's fixing the problem," said Jessica.

Jessica says the person who received the money wasn't being helpful, so we called the number where the money was sent.

We got a text message back explaining how his bank said it appeared to be a scam, but "the $800 was backed out of my account and returned to the account from whence it came."

Zelle says they don't process payments. They don't hold the money and don't have access to reverse charges. They say you can verify where you're sending money, but if this does happen, people have to take it up with their bank and file an "incorrect account customer error dispute claim."

While Jessica did send the money to the wrong number, she says the process should be easier to dispute the charge.

"They need to change their policy, whether it's the banks or Zelle's because it's ridiculous. Like I literally tried to handle it that day and the next day," said Jessica.

Almost a month later, Jessica and Vincent say they just got confirmation the $800 will be in their account after their dispute was reprocessed as a wrong sender claim.

Remember, when you use a payment app it's like sending cash. Be sure to double and triple check where you're sending it.