TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The popular peer-to-peer money transfer system Zelle is owned by seven major banks and is embedded into many online accounts. Transactions are instant and irreversible, which is attractive to criminals.

Consumers report waking up to see large amounts of money missing from their bank accounts. They believe hackers somehow accessed their accounts, but often, their banks don’t credit their accounts for their losses, for various reasons.

This story is playing out all over the Tampa Bay area, and across the country. Crooks either hack into consumers’ devices or get in using phishing techniques, or crooks trick consumers into unknowingly sending them money through Zelle.

Once the money is gone, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.

Some consumer advocates and some in Congress are pushing banks to do more, pointing out that big banks own Zelle.

Tonight at 6 p.m., Consumer Investigator Shannon Behnken has a special report about this type of fraud and why some advocates think their would actually be less fraud if banks credited accounts, as they do in debit and credit card theft.