NAB is aware of purchasing scams targeting Australian consumers, with scammers active on both the buying and selling sides of transactions. These scams take place on the common platforms used by people to buy and sell goods and services, such as eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and Carsales.
If you’re selling an item, a scammer may send you a fake or altered receipt claiming they have transferred funds into your account. After you send or hand over the item, they will cease communication without having paid you.
If you’re purchasing an item, a scammer posing as a legitimate seller may post an item for sale which appears to be a good deal. They may put up an advertisement that is fake, or sell items that aren’t rightfully theirs. When you start communicating with them, they may send you pictures of the item which appear to be legitimate. However, these images are often stolen from the Internet or from other legitimate advertisements. Once you pay them, the seller will stop communicating and you won’t receive the item.
Tips to avoid a purchasing scam
Be cautious of buyers and sellers asking for identification documents such as your driver’s license, passport and Medicare card number. Never provide these to someone you don’t know, as it may be used to commit identity fraud.
If you’re purchasing an item, try to meet the buyer in person where possible. If this is not possible, ask them to video call you so you can inspect the item more closely. Conduct a ‘reverse image search’ for the photos of the item you’re buying- you may find the picture of the item already exists on a legitimate ad, or other fake ones.
If you’re selling an item, wait for the funds to arrive in your bank account before you hand over the goods, or accept cash at handover. Don’t rely on receipts provided as they may have been altered.
Read our online shopping article for more information on staying safe while shopping online, or visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website.
If you are a NAB customer and believe you may have fallen victim to a scam, please call 13 22 65 immediately and ask for the Digital Fraud and Scams Team.