Senators question the cell about how it is responding to rising fraud reports.

Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bob Menendez of New Jersey targeted Zelle, the popular money transfer app, on Monday, warning it is putting millions of Americans at risk of being scammed.

Lawmakers, both Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee, asked Zelle operator Early Warning Services what measures he had taken to protect consumers from the proliferation of sophisticated scams. Early Warning, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based consortium is owned by seven banks: Bank of America, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, Truist, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.

Senators said the reports of increasing fraud were “disturbing” and criticized Early Warning and its owners for creating a “confusing and unfair” situation for scammed consumers.

“Alarmingly, both your company and the large banks that own and partner with the platform have abdicated responsibility for fraudulent transactions, leaving consumers with no way to recover their funds,” the senators wrote in a letter to Albert KoCEO of Early Warning.

The letter cited a recent New York Times article which described customers’ difficulties in getting compensated by their banks after the thieves used their cell phones to steal money from their accounts. In a common scam, attackers posing as bank fraud investigators trick victims into transferring money to thieves’ accounts. Banks often refuse to compensate deceived customers because they believe they have approved the wire transfers.

“The banks have chosen to make consumers suffer by blaming them for authorizing fraudulent transactions,” the senators wrote. “Your business and the banks have a clear responsibility to protect consumers more aggressively.”

The letter asks Early Warning Services for details on the number of fraud reports received and how banks using cell choose which customers will receive refunds.

The Senate commission is on schedule encounter Tuesday. He will hear testimony from influential banking regulator, Rohit Chopra, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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