Australians warned by NAB about soaring scams in online sales platforms


New NAB data indicates a worrying trend among Australians selling second-hand items on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.

According to reports, scams have seen a startling 66% increase in the last quarter. Particularly disturbing is the finding that a third of these scams involve the misuse of PayID, a relatively new payment method that utilises a phone number, email, or ABN for transactions.

NAB’s executive for group investigations and fraud, Chris Sheehan, said that scammers had significantly intensified their efforts on online marketplaces since late 2022. Victims of these scams often report receiving duplicate messages from fraudsters expressing interest in purchasing their listed items via PayID.

The deceptive methods employed by these criminals often involve manipulating sellers into believing that they need a PayID “business account”. Scammers may claim to have upgraded the seller’s account and request reimbursement, exploiting the instant transfer capability of PayID.

Scamwatch data reveals that Australians lost $260,000 to PayID-related scams in the previous year, though the actual figure may be considerably higher, as numerous scams go unreported.

Chris Sheehan emphasised the safety and simplicity of PayID, noting that any request for money to upgrade or access PayID should raise immediate suspicion. He also reminded users that PayID never sends direct messages or emails, and any communication claiming to be from PayID is a scam.

NAB executive for group investigations and fraud, Chris Sheehan, stated that “It’s critical to educate yourself about PayID, so you can see through these scams and attempts to find extra money don’t actually end up costing you.” He further stressed that scams are a growing global problem and that the responsibility to combat this issue lies with governments, business sectors, and communities.

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