Gumtree Australia Support Knowledgebase - Phishing, Suspicious Emails, and Latest Scam Trends
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Phishing, Suspicious Emails, and Latest Scam Trends

Phishing scams

Phishing scammers use fraudulent emails or SMS to trick users to access fake websites or share personal information, in the hope of accessing private account or login information.

Trends - click the sections below to learn more

  1. Trending Scam - Gumtree Account Verification / “We need to confirm you have access to this account”
  2. Trending Scam - Gumtree Messages from: Gumtree Bot or a Gumtree employee
  3. Trending Scam - Gumtree Delivery Scam via Whatsapp and/or SMS
  4. Fake URL examples
  5. Signs it’s a spoof/phishing email
  6. SMS Scams
  7. Requests to pay with PayPal - Friends and Family/gift
  8. Fake escrow sites
  9. Fruit Picking and Farm Jobs
  1. Trending Scam - Gumtree Account Verification / “We need to confirm you have access to this account” 

Scammers pretending to be Gumtree have sent emails to our users asking them to confirm their registration on Gumtree. Be wary of suspicious emails, texts and/or WhatsApp messages that ask for personal information and keep those passwords safe!

It looks like this:


  1. Trending Scam - Gumtree Messages from: Gumtree Bot or a Gumtree employee

Be wary of Gumtree Messages from Gumtree Bot or anyone claiming to be a Gumtree employee. A request for your email address is oftentimes sent in an image format. These scammers want to communicate with you over email to complete the scam.

Legitimate buyers and sellers are unlikely to want to be emailed if they are contacting you via Gumtree Messages. Gumtree is not involved in any transactions between a buyer and seller, will never request your email address and do not offer courier services.

NOTE: If you receive a Gumtree message requesting your email address, or to scan a QR Code for funds to be deposited, we recommend you immediately stop communicating with the person and notify the Gumtree team.

  1. Trending Scam - Gumtree Delivery Scam via Whatsapp and/or SMS

Gumtree does NOT currently offer delivery and is not affiliated with any delivery service. If you receive any Whatsapp or SMS messages from potential buyers offering Gumtree delivery as a service, do NOT click on the link or enter your payment details. Sellers have the option to offer shipping in certain categories, however Gumtree does NOT offer a delivery service.

You should immediately end the conversation and report this activity to our customer support team here. If you have already provided your payment details, please contact your bank or credit card provider so they can assist further.

  1. Fake URL examples

All official Gumtree pages will always contain in the URL with a forward slash after the .au/. If you see a link with a different format it is most certainly a phishing attempt. If you come across any fake URLs please report the links to us here.

Examples of a fake URL:

User-added image

User-added image

User-added image

Examples of suspicious SMS messages and fake website:
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Some Gumtree users have reported receiving suspicious emails or texts that:

  • Try to confirm their identity
  • Ask them for account verification
  • Inform them that an ad supposedly posted on their Gumtree account was deleted for fraud

Fake emails can include a company logo and will usually ask you to reply to the message with confidential information or to click on a link and enter your personal details into a webpage that looks exactly like Gumtree. They may even include an attachment.

A phishing attempt may also indicate that your account has been temporarily suspended or will be deleted if you don’t respond with confidential information. The fraudsters try to create a sense of urgency to collect the private information they want.

  1. Signs it's a spoof email:

Here are some signs of a spoof email:

  • Spelling mistakes, bad grammar and a fake company logo.
  • An email from “Gumtree” asking you to send personal information such as your password, bank account or credit card number. We don’t ask customers to send these details by email.
  • An email from “Gumtree” asking you to change your password. Gumtree will never send you a link to change your password unless you click the ‘Forgot your password’ option on the site.  If you ever want to change your password, we recommend you do it by going directly to the Gumtree site, clicking My Profile (under the My Gumtree tab) and changing it in the fields under the heading “Change Password”
  • An email from "Gumtree" claiming you have a new message from a buyer for an ad you didn't post. Please do not reply to the message and instead Contact Us to report suspicious activity.

Here are some examples of what fake emails look like:

Dear customer,

In order to avoid fraud attempts and confirm your identity, please forward us the following details:

JUST CLICK HERE: to fake site

Please complete the form immediately. If not, your account will be erased based on fraud motivation. Thank you!

Gumtree Secure Department 


Dear Gumtree User,

Thanks for your Ad however we’re afraid that your Ad has been removed because it was flagged as fraud. We need you to confirm your identity. Please follow this link:

“fake link to” Confirm Account Identity

For more information, please review our posting policies . Any future Ads will also be removed until your account will be verified.

Gumtree Security

If you think you have been sent a spoof Gumtree email, please write to us here so we can investigate and de-activate any fake site links. Do not click on links or take any other action requested in those suspicious emails.

For more information on how you can protect yourself online, visit the Australian Government’s online safety section here

  1. SMS Scams

An SMS message from a potential buyer asking you to respond via email could be a scam. Legitimate buyers and sellers are unlikely to want to be emailed if they are contacting you via your phone. If you receive an SMS asking you to respond via email we recommend you stop communicating with this person immediately and notify the Gumtree team.

The messages will look and sound similar to the following examples:

“Hello mate, I saw your listing on Gumtree and can you let me know if still on sale…”


“Hello, I saw your ad on Gumtree. I’m ready to offer you 20,000AUD for the vehicle. For quick response, email me at: Smith”

The messages may have a name in the title or may be from an overseas phone number. Some will even look like a local number with a +614 area code; these are sent via online SMS service providers like ‘SMS craze’.

These scammers want to communicate with you over email so they can open up their word document and Google translator to copy and paste their pre-prepared scripts.

We encourage our community to follow the Gumtree usage guidelines;

  • Local transactions should be arranged in a busy public place if possible. Take a friend or family member with you.
  • If a buyer is coming to your home or workplace, arrange to have someone with you. Ask the buyer to produce ID and allow them to inspect the item.
  • Never send money by bank transfer or a payment service that is not PayPal through Gumtree messages. We only recommend Gumtree’s PayPal integration or cash in person.
  • Always use common sense.
  • And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

If you have any questions or need clarification simply click that “contact us” button just below in the footer and we can help with any questions you might have.

  1. Requests to pay with PayPal outside of Gumtree through the 'Friends and Family' option

If you receive a request to use the 'Friends and Family' option when paying with PayPal, please be cautious. Using the 'Friends and Family' option instead of 'Goods and Services' will prevent any chance of buyer protection through PayPal.

We always recommend linking your PayPal and Gumtree accounts and using PayPal through your messages on the Gumtree app. This way the buyer can inspect the item before purchase, and you do not need to provide your email address.

For instructions on how to link your accounts and send and receive payments through PayPal on Gumtree, please click here.

  1. Fake Escrow Sites

A buyer or seller or prospective tenant/ landlord suggests using an escrow service to complete the transaction. Often these escrow web sites are run by fraudsters (even though they may look ‘official’) and they will take your money and never send you the product.

The messages will look and sound similar to the following examples:

"I used the following brokerage company: (website link) for an online purchase and I was delighted.  All you have to do is to register and verify your account on their website so I can start the transaction."

"I can give you a 24 hour inspection period to test the car at any inspection service you want and only if you decide to keep it will they move forward and
complete the sale. I believe this is the safest way."

"I will pay the shipping costs and all the fees involved in the process, you will pay only the price for the item."

Visit the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission website for more information.

  1. Fruit Picking and Farm Jobs

We’ve recently had reports of a job scam involving fruit picking and other related farming jobs. These ads are targeting backpackers and are offering employment and accommodation for an up-front fee. If you’ve seen or responded to such ads please report it to us immediately and cease communication with the advertiser.

How to protect yourself – Please ignore any job offer that:

  • Asks you for up-front fees
  • Offers you free accommodation
  • Offers a guaranteed job and or income
  • Offers quick visa approval and sponsored employment in Australia
  • That advertises harvesting, the picking of fruits or vegetables, in the wrong season ie. picking summer fruits in winter
  • Will only provide a post office box as the contact address

Please note – this is not a definitive list of indicators of a scam – some brazen scammers will provide a real street address, but the people living at that address have nothing to do with the scam.

You can also conduct a simple ‘WHO IS’ or Google search on the organisation that will allow you to see when the URL for the website was set up – if it was only recently established then it is potentially fake.

Any further questions please contact us and we can help out!