Buying or Selling Scams
What are buying & selling scams?
Scammers can pose as both buyers and sellers, to try and scam you out of money or items you might be looking to sell or purchase.
As a buyer, you may be tricked into paying for a product or service that may not exist or is never delivered. These are also known as online shopping scams, classified scams, health and medical product scams, mobile premium services scams, or psychic & clairvoyant scams.
As a seller, you may be tricked into believing the buyer has paid in full or even paid over your advertised amount, including sending falsified payment receipts to support their claim. The buyer may request a refund for overpayment or reimbursement for out of pocket expenses, or you later find the amount was not paid into your account.
What they're after
Buying and selling scammers are either after your money or they attempt to get your item without paying. Once you pay them or send the item, it is gone.
Signs this may be a scam
They may advertise on legitimate sites but ask you to pay for them outside of this site.
Do not pay. Verify if this is real by checking reviews, doing internet searches, viewing goods in person, and always using secure payment options.
You are asked to pay upfront or by unusual payment methods.
Do not proceed, it’s likely they are scammers. Do not provide an up-front payment to a stranger via money order or wire transfer.
You receive an invoice for items you never ordered or from a company you do not know.
Do not pay. Contact the company on a number you source – never use the number provided.
You receive an email or text confirming that a payment has been made.
Do not rely on this as confirmation. Always log into your account to confirm funds have been received.
Who should I contact and examples of scams
- Please report scams or suspicious activity immediately to Westpac at 132 032 or 61 2 9155 7700 (if calling from overseas).
- Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or sms/text messages to 0497 132 032 then delete the email or message.
- Report all suspicious activity to the Australian Cyber Security Centre at cyber.gov.au/report.
- Contact IDCARE toll-free on 1800 595 160 or visit their website idcare.org. They provide free, confidential support and guidance to people who have been targeted by fraud, scams, identity theft or compromise.
- Keep up to date on scams by subscribing to the government's scam email alerts from scamwatch.gov.au/subscribe.
- Check out our latest scams, for copies of recently reported scams at westpac.com.au/scams.
Things you should know
* Examples are based on one or more real scam reports received by Westpac. For privacy purposes real names have not been used.