We have found that one of the best ways to address this problem is to ensure that all transactions take place locally and in-person. Remember that Gumtree is a local classifieds web site and you should always try to deal the good old fashioned way - face to face!
- Never deposit, send or wire money to sellers or buyers. This includes never transferring money into bank accounts, mailing a cheque or using payment services like Bidpay, Western Union or Money Gram to pay for items found on Gumtree.
These forms of payments are great between people that know each other but are a really bad idea for someone you don't know or trust! Remember Gumtree doesn't have any verification or protection services for buyer or sellers.
It is our belief that these forms of funds transfers are favoured by fraudsters, so don't risk it! Always demand to deal face to face and simply walk away from the deal if the seller is refusing to meet you!
- Never send your item before receiving the money. This includes never mailing a cheque or using payment services like Bidpay, Western Union or Money Gram to pay for items found on Gumtree.
Recently we've noticed that dodgy buyers will send you fake PayPal receipts trying to prove they've deposited funds into your account for your item. Ignore these and rather login to your account to check if funds are there, don't believe an email even though it might look genuine!
- When buying or selling, you should meet in-person to see the item and exchange money. The purpose of the Gumtree "For Sale" category is to encourage face-to-face, local, trading. For personal ease and safety, always ensure you take someone with you, or have someone with you at home if a buyer is coming to your residence. If you're answering a home service ad, ask the poster to produce identity and proof of qualification before inviting them into your home.