I just set up an account with Zelle because that’s how my buyer needed to pay for tires I’m selling, she sent me $400 well Zelle made her send an additional $400 because they said the amount sent means I needed a business account. Well now they want me to send my buyer back $400 of my own money before they release the $800. I don’t have $400 and I didn’t know any of this or I wouldn’t have done it. I don’t even see the $800 on my account pending. I just want them to send the $800 back to the buyer what can I do?
Zelle does not have a concept of "business account" other than the bank account it is tied to, whether it is a business account or a personal account. See this article for some details of how it works with business accounts.
Zelle does not have a limit of money that sets off needing a business account, other than what bank limits may apply to Zelle for particular bank accounts (for example, my bank limits me to sending $1500 per week in my personal account). Read your bank's rules for the specifics. What's important here is that Zelle, unlike PayPal or Venmo, is less of an independent organization and is more a format your bank offers to exchange money with other banks; it is a company started by several banks and is implemented at the individual bank level for actually sending and receiving money (via ACH). [Side note, this would still be a scam in PayPal or Venmo also; but it's even less believable for Zelle.]
This is 100% definitely a scam. Walk away.
SCAM! Flaming scam.
They are scamming you. They have never sent a single dime. Their objective is to con you out of $400.
(And then later, it'll be more, that's how these confidence games work. Note how you believe you're dealing with Zelle, even though you really aren't.)
You might think Internet scammers are stupid, because of the dumb come-ons you see on phishing emails and the like. But they're not. Scammers are some of the smartest people on earth. Those come-ons are dumb on purpose, as discussed here.
Be clear: Scammers are smart. They're really practiced at tricking people like you and me. If it didn't work, they wouldn't do it.
I can tell it's a scam because they convinced you to set up a Zelle account.
Zelle is generally irreversible (and reversing wouldn't help)
And that's why they conned you into setting up a Zelle account. They want you to send them money via Zelle, and then it is simply GONE.
Every chance they get, Zelle says in the strongest possible way to only send money to people you know and trust. They mean it! When you ignore those instructions, they go "tough beans! This is your fault for misusing our service." And they're right.
While there are consumer protection laws, they only help with errors or unauthorized transactions. They do nothing for consensual transfers where there was a disagreement between sender and recipient.
You can't even sue Zelle, because their terms have an arbitration clause, and you know how that goes.
Zelle is so risky for scams that I absolutely cannot recommend it. Time was, to do an irreversible trasfer, you'd have to do a wire transfer with a human at the bank, or deal with Western Union, or go to a Bitcoin ATM. These oddball acts were "circuit breakers" that would make you pause to think, and question your confidence in the other party. But Zelle makes it too easy. If Zelle would provide purchase and scam protection, I'd change my mind. But they'd go broke if they did that LOL!
I see Zelle as a product without a use. My friends and family all have PayPal, and since Zelle's whole thesis is that I should know them face to face, well, there's cash!
They never sent any money.
Because if they did, it would have already appeared in your account. That is Zelle's whole sales pitch!
The $800 won't show up. It never existed. Walk into your bank and ask your bank manager. Sit down together at their terminal and have them navigate to real Zelle and look. Not there.
They don't actually want your tires. This is not a legitimate customer. Put them on "ignore" and put the listing back up. Focus your energy on actual customers (who deal face to face - on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace and other such sites, literally everyone who won't meet face to face (or wants things shipped) is a scammer.
If you want a non-face-to-face transaction, use a better-secured platform like eBay). But for a high weight-to-value commodity like tires, that is dumb because tires are available everywhere and shipping is very costly these days.
By the way, Zelle is trackable. But these people run networks of scams. If you had sent the money, it would have gone to a patsy - another victim, who would be conned into sending it via Bitcoin or Western Union, which are un-trackable. If you "followed the money" via Zelle, you'd only find another victim.
she sent me $400 well Zelle made her send an additional $400
No they didn't.
Well now they want me to send my buyer back $400 of my own money before they release the $800.
No. Zelle would never, ever ask that. If you think that you are talking to Zelle, you're talking to the scammer. I gather you got a fake email from Zelle and clicked a link on it or used a phone number off it?
If you need to talk to actual real Zelle, then go to Google and type "Zelle" and click the obvious link - which I think will be zellepay.com.
The only thing I would say to Zelle is "I was tricked into creating an account, I do not want, I do not agree, especially not to an arb clause".
The buyer (and the Zelle person contacting you) is the same person; the scammer.
They didn't send you any money and want to milk you for free $.