By Kurtis Ming

STOCKTON (CBS13) – A Stockton mom used the Zelle money transfer app to pay her rent but sent it to the wrong person.

These apps make it easy to pay, but don’t make any mistakes or your money may end up long gone.

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“I’ve been beating myself up for it, thinking ‘Oh my gosh, how could I do this?” said Ashley Laing.

The wife and mom always pays her landlord, Aaron Z., through Zelle, but this time she accidentally sent that $2,000 rent payment to Aaron, no Z.

“It’s just an old contact. I don’t even remember how I know this person or where I know this person from,” she said.

She texted the wrong Aaron to try and get it back but got no reply, then sent him a request thru Zelle to return the money – but he declined it.

So what can she do? Zelle says they don’t return money sent by mistake. Your bank isn’t liable for app-based money transfers. She also can’t file a police report because there’s no crime.

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In fact, the only way you’ll get money back is if the recipient willingly gives it back.

“If he says ‘Nope, not gonna send it back,’ then that’s that,” Laing said.

We reached out to Aaron. First, he told us he never got the $2,000. Days later, he said he did but didn’t notice it and agreed to return the money.

Ashley’s takeaway from this?

“Update your contacts,” she said.

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Zelle does make you confirm the contact before sending the money, but if Aaron didn’t return the money, her only option would be to take him to court.