GUMTREE SCAMS ARE NOT SLOWING DOWN
WATCH OUT FOR THESE SIGNS
Back in January, we wrote an article about Gumtree scammers, and one scammer in particular called Zanco Albert. Since writing that article, we have had an overwhelming response from people who have found our article warning them about Zanco, and potentially avoided being scammed by him.
ABC News also picked up on our article and ran a story themselves.
Unfortunately Zanco Albert is still scamming, and there are other scammers under different names circulating. However, they all have similar tell tale signs.
If you are selling items on Gumtree, don’t fall for enquiries sent to your mobile as a text message, asking you to email them details and pricing.
Below are examples of text messages received from Gumtree scammers:
Message from: “Rose”
“I am inquiry on behalf of my partner about your item for sale,i would like you to email Her directly via firstname.lastname@example.org with your asking price.”
Message from: “Gumtree!”
“My partner what to know about your item on Gumtree, message her directly via email@example.com with the final price”
Message from: “Melinda”
Is your shoes on gumtree still available for sale…if yes? Please contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Received this image from a reader
Tell tale signs
- Note the poor English and grammar used in those text messages
- All three messages appear to come from somebody in your Contact List – “Rose”, “Gumtree!” and “Melinda” (When a new person sends you a text message, their phone number appears at the top, not their name) – They do this to make you believe the message is coming from a trusted person
- Ask yourself why this person who has just sent you a text message can’t continue to correspond via text message? Why change your method of communication to email?
- If a legitimate person sends you an email (via Gumtree), you will receive an email from Gumtree, and it will also appear in your Gumtree Inbox
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK?
The way these Gumtree scams work are:
- The scammer sends a message to the Seller, asking the seller to email them (as seen in those text messages above)
- Seller will email the scammer, letting the scammer know that the item is still available
- Scammer will reply via email, letting the seller know that they are happy to accept the item and the price. They will tell the seller that they live interstate, either remotely or on an oil rig. They will ask the seller to send through PayPal details so they can make payment, and organise a courier to collect the item
- The scammer will make “payment”, sending the seller a fake PayPal transaction summary, and details for a courier to collect the item
Then according to ABC News, one of three events will occur:
- A courier comes and picks up the car and it is effectively stolen
- The buyer suddenly demands a refund on the fake transaction
- They “accidentally” pay extra on the fake transaction and demand to be reimbursed
Below: Actual correspondence between scammer and seller
This was sent in by a reader who was kind enough to share her experience with us so we could share this with you and prevent scammers from targeting victims.
After these emails from “Melinda” claiming she wanted to buy these shoes, the reader was sent a PayPal transaction notifying her that funds had been transferred to her bank account.
ANOTHER….This one is from Zanco Albert
FAKE PAYPAL NOTIFICATION
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVE A MESSAGE FROM THESE SCAMMERS?
If you get these text messages, simply do not reply and engage in their activities.
I listed a new item on Gumtree last night, and received two text messages within minutes. Both text messages were from different people, asking me to email them. Sorry, no can do!
If you know friends and family selling items on Gumtree, forward them this article so they know what to watch out for!