Since we're doing a great job at keeping rubbish people off the site, they have taken a different approach and started contacting many of you directly via the contact details that are visible in your ad like your mobile phone number. The messages will look and sound similar to below examples:
"Hello mate, I saw your listing on Gumtree and can you let me know if still on sale...email@example.com"
"Hello, I saw your ad. on Gumtree. I'm ready to offer you 20,000AUD for the vehicle. For quick response, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Smith"
and will have a name in title or numbers that are from overseas, even local looking with +614 types and are sent via online sms service providers like "SMS craze" etc.
These dodgy people are trying to trick you by sending a fake sms messages asking to be contacted via email (this should ring alarm bells) because why would anyone want to be emailed if they're contacting you via your phone!
The reason; they want to get you communicating over email because then they can open up their word document and google translator to copy and paste their prepared scripts and will even throw in a bit of aussie slang like "mate" to sound like a true blue local aussie and within the communication they will then give you a story that they're on some important mission saving the world and can’t call you because their km's underground or off on a oil rig, serving as a doctor on the new strand of the swine flu epidemic, saving the famished in africa and on and on - you get the idea, they'll give you any excuse not to meet up with you because they're actually on the other side of the world in an internet cafe (that's why unfortunately some of our users receive SMS messages in the middle of the night)
Next step is that they'll also offer you several hundred even thousands of dollars more than you’ve asked for because they apparently love/really want your car, furniture, horse, diamond ring etc for their sister, cousin, brother somewhere around the world and would rather like their shipping agent or courier to pick it up, but of course there is a catch! They'll ask if you have a PayPal account and if not they'll want you to create one. Once you've done that they'll send a genuine looking PayPal receipt that shows the “extra amount”; this is to trick you to believe that they've deposited cash into your account and want or even sometimes demand that you wire a shipping fee via western union/moneygram or even they'll threaten you by saying they'll get the federal police involved, but we all know that such requests are fake and harmless; so you simply need to ignore them!
Since we always encourage anyone using Gumtree to meet in person and never send or wire money to someone that you don’t know, you simply need to keep this tip in mind and take the right precautions then there shouldn't be any problems. What they’re simply trying to do is play out the classic “overpayment scam”, this is so they can get their hands on your money for something you’re trying to sell - ludicrous right? they want you to send money for something you're selling it doesn't make sense!
What we advise is to simply ignore such sms messages and report it to us. If you are annoyed by such messages please instead remove your contact details from your ad “we know this is inconvenient” but then you can opt to receive replies only via email communication and then, when you’re sure that you are dealing with a genuine person, you could exchange details and organize a time and a place to meet up.
Again we’re sorry for such inconvenience however rule of thumb while using Gumtree is to meet up with the person you're communicating with, the good old fashioned way, face to face! 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.