If you’re considering selling an old lounge, double bed, or pushbike online, you could be the target of cybercriminals.
With cost-of-living pressures such as higher petrol and energy prices and increased mortgage interest rates, savvy Aussies recognise they have a goldmine in their closets and garages. They are looking to cash-in online using marketplaces such as Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.
But the online crooks have also focused on these marketplaces and are employing a relatively new payment system known as PayID to separate unsuspecting Australians from their hard-earned.
What is PayID?
PayID is a free payment system that allows customers to securely transfer funds to another account using an identifier such as an individual’s or business’s mobile phone number, email address or ABN.
Launched in 2018, PayID makes payments more straightforward and secure by eliminating the need to provide multiple pieces of information when making a transaction. PayID allows you to transfer funds to bank accounts.
How are the scammers using PayID?
Scammers pose as buyers and ask the seller if they can pay using a PayID. If the seller agrees, scammers will ask for their PayID to complete the payment. They then claim the transaction couldn’t be finalised because you don’t have a PayID “business” account. They’ll offer to pay for the upgrade to a business account and claim they’ve sent extra money. But no money will ever appear in your account.
As part of the con, the scammers will send you a fake email from PayID as evidence and pressure you to reimburse them.
It is important to be aware of this new scam and to consider the following tips to help protect against becoming a victim:
- Be wary of requests for additional payments - you should never have to send money to receive a PayID payment.
- The PayID service is free so it is a red flag if someone asks you for money to upgrade or access PayID.
- PayIDs are managed by your bank, and PayID would never contact you directly via email, text or messenger.
- Another alarm bell is when the person you’re talking to tries to take you onto a third-party app to conduct business. This may include Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
- Another red flag is when the buyer creates a sense of urgency by insisting they pay straight away without them even seeing the item. They’ll also be against receiving cash and meeting up with you in person.
By following these tips and being aware of this scam, Aussies can protect themselves from falling prey to unscrupulous criminals and ensure that payments are securely completed.
What happens if I have been scammed?
If you feel a scammer has hoodwinked you, immediately contact your financial institution for assistance. If you’ve been a victim of a scam, you can report it to the ACCC via the report a scam page to help protect others from similar scams. Visit https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam
Important note: This information is of a general nature and is not intended to be relied on by you as advice in any particular matter. You should contact us at Defence Bank to discuss how this information may apply to your circumstances.