Gumtree Australia Support Knowledgebase - Safety - I received an SMS asking me to respond on email. How do I know if this is legitimate?
Homepage-Icon-SVGs Homepage-Icon-SVGs Homepage-Icon-SVGs Homepage-Icon-SVGs Homepage-Icon-SVGs
Experiencing tech issues? Update your app to the latest version. More details: Current technical issues & troubleshooting
Be wary of requests for your email address sent in an image format. Gumtree does not use a delivery service or Gumtree Bot. We will never send communication via text or Whatsapp. Click here for more help

I received an SMS asking me to respond on email. How do I know if this is legitimate?

An SMS message from a potential buyer asking you to respond by email is most likely a scam. Legitimate buyers and sellers are unlikely to want to be emailed if they are contacting you via SMS. If you receive an SMS asking you to respond on 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’. The name may even show up on your mobile as "Gumtree" and be worded as if we were sending the message on behalf of the buyer.

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. They may also offer to give you more money than your asking price if you remove the ad right away. 

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 received a fake PayPal payment notification or invoice, please write to us here.