Emerging Threats

Make sure you’re up to date with information on the latest online and email scams. Be aware of what to watch out for so you can stay safe and be successful when you’re buying, selling and trading online.

Phishing scams

Phishing scammers use fraudulent emails or SMS to trick users to access fake websites or share personal information, in the hope of accessing private account or login information.

Some Gumtree users have reported receiving suspicious emails or texts that:

  • try to confirm their identity
  • ask them for account verification
  • Inform them that an ad supposedly posted on their Gumtree account was deleted for fraud

Fake emails can include a company logo and will usually ask you to reply to the message with confidential information or to click on a link and enter your personal details into a webpage that looks exactly like Gumtree. They may even include an attachment.

A phishing attempt may also indicate that your account has been temporarily suspended or will be deleted if you don’t respond with confidential information. The fraudsters try to create a sense of urgency to collect the private information they want.


Signs it’s a spoof email

Here are some signs of a spoof email:

  • Spelling mistakes, bad grammar and a fake company logo.
  • An email from “Gumtree” asking you to send personal information such as your password, bank account or credit card number. We don’t ask customers to send these details by email.
  • An email from “Gumtree” asking you to change your password. Gumtree will never send you a link to change your password unless you click the ‘Forgot your password’ option on the site.  If you ever want to change your password, we recommend you do it by going directly to the Gumtree site, clicking My Profile (under the My Gumtree tab) and changing it in the fields under the heading “Change Password”


Examples of spoof emails

Here are some examples of what fake emails look like:


Dear customer,

In order to avoid fraud attempts and confirm your identity, please forward us the following details:

JUST CLICK HERE: http://www.link to fake site

Please complete the form immediately. If not, your account will be erased based on fraud motivation. Thank you!

Gumtree Secure Department 


Dear Gumtree User,

Thanks for your Ad however we’re afraid that your Ad has been removed because it was flagged as fraud. We need you to confirm your identity. Please follow this link:

“fake link to” Confirm Account Identity

For more information, please review our posting policies . Any future Ads will also be removed until your account will be verified.

Gumtree Security


What to do if you think you’ve been sent a spoof Gumtree email

You should forward suspicious emails which you don’t think are from Gumtree to spoof@gumtree.com.au so we can investigate and de-activate any fake site links. Simply forward the email, do not click on links or take any other action requested in those suspicious emails.

For more information on how you can protect yourself online, visit the Australian Government’s online safety section here

SMS Scams

An SMS message from a potential buyer asking you to respond on email could be a scam. Legitimate buyers and sellers are unlikely to want to be emailed if they are contacting you via your phone. If you receive an SMS asking you to respond on email we recommend you stop communicating with this person immediately and notify the Gumtree team.

The messages will look and sound similar to the following examples:

“Hello mate, I saw your listing on Gumtree and can you let me know if still on sale… blahblah@live.com.au”


“Hello, I saw your ad on Gumtree. I’m ready to offer you 20,000AUD for the vehicle. For quick response, email me at: blahblah2@gmail.com Smith”


The messages may have a name in the title or may be from an overseas phone number. Some will even look like a local number with a +614 area code; these are sent via online SMS service providers like ‘SMS craze’.

These scammers want to communicate with you over email so they can open up their word document and Google translator to copy and paste their pre-prepared scripts.

Gumtree is designed for local, face-to-face trading. We encourage our community to follow the Gumtree usage guidelines;

  • Always meet in person
  • Never send money to anyone you don’t know
  • And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

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.

Fruit Picking and Farming Jobs

We’ve recently had reports of a job scam involving fruit picking and other related farming jobs. These ads are targeting backpackers and are offering employment and accommodation for an up-front fee. If you’ve seen or responded to such ads please report it to us immediately and cease communication with the advertiser.

How to protect yourself – Please ignore any job offer that:

  • Asks you for up-front fees
  • Offers you free accommodation
  • Offers a guaranteed job and or income
  • Offers quick visa approval and sponsored employment in Australia
  • That advertises harvesting, the picking of fruits or vegetables, in the wrong season ie. picking summer fruits in winter
  • Will only provide a post office box as the contact address


Please note – this is not a definitive list of indicators of a scam – some brazen scammers will provide a real street address, but the people living at that address have nothing to do with the scam.

You can also conduct a simple ‘WHO IS’ or Google search on the organisation that will allow you to see when the URL for the website was set up – if it was only recently established then it is potentially fake.

Any further questions please contact us and we can help out!