Seen a PayID scam when trying to sell something online?

Hi Community members - have you ever encountered a PayID scam when trying to sell something online?

This scam often sees fraudsters getting in touch with you after you’ve listed an item for sale on a classified site like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. They’ll say they’re happy to take the product off your hands and won’t try to inspect it or even drive down the price.

They will, however, ask for your PayID to process the purchase. After they’ve got this, they may claim they can’t send you any money until your account is “upgraded.” They’ll then claim they’ve paid for this out of their own pocket and ask you to reimburse them.

Have you come across this phenomenon when trying to sell something online? What happened and what kind of evidence did the scammer give you to try to convince you to follow-through?


I have heard tales of this scam. But as anyone who has actually set up a PayID in order to facilitate a money transfer to themselves would realise, it is easy to do and free through your banking system.

So, if you find a buyer who wants to pay using PayID, set it up and tell them what it is. Or use Paypal.

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The power of misinformation on social media has many people afraid to use PayID.

Lots of FB ads (often a dodgy marketplace for scammers and cowboys as well as legitimate businesses and traders) specify ‘no PayID accepted’. They think they know that PayID is ripe for losing money from scamming, not how or why or even if :expressionless:

Will they listen to ‘how it works’? As with social and political misinformation it is probably too-hard a row to get them to let go of their closely held faith in the misinformation.


And the PayID scam exploits the misunderstandings about what PayID is and who’s responsible for it.

The scammer asks for the seller’s PayID, then a short time later tells them the PayID is the ‘wrong type’ and has had to be ‘updated’, and that there was a PayID fee for this, and that the buyer has obligingly paid it on the seller’s behalf (!! Who would do that??). They ask that the seller reimburse them for this generous act. There will usually be emails or texts from ‘PayID’ that appear to back the claim (as the scammer now has the seller’s mobile number or email address, whichever the PayID was).

People who don’t understand how PayID works can fall for this.

PayID is a service backed by the participating financial institutions - ie, all the major banks and credit unions - that links a simple, unique identifier such as phone number, email address, or ABN to a specific account with one of those institutions.

To achieve this, they share a registry of PayIDs that records only the PayID identifiers and which financial institution issued that PayID. It does not store bank account numbers or any other user information, and no such entity as “PayID” will never communicate directly with any user, nor are any fees ever charged for it.

Only the relevant bank/credit union can create, modify, or remove a PayID linked to any of its accounts. To set up, change, or remove a PayID, you must log in to that bank/credit union.

The only communication you will ever receive about your specific PayID will come from that bank or credit union, not from some entity called “PayID”.


… or the text/email from “PayID” specifies the fee and gives a link to pay it.

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But also specify “no bank transfers” of any kind i.e. cash is king.

This is necessary because if two “strangers” (two people who have not established any prior basis for trust) want to transact directly then there is no way to achieve the transaction using the banking system. No matter whether the buyer pays before or after the physical transfer of the goods someone can get scammed.

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Just about any type of payment can be scammed at either end, it seems.

Payment via credit card can, quite reasonably, be reversed if the buyer is dissatisfied with / didn’t receive the goods / service, provided that they convince the credit card company of this.

But apparently this is not very difficult to do, and scammers exploit that fact.

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I’ve come across this type of scam. I’ve sold and bought many items on FB marketplace and Gumtree and PayID is great when people accept it. It’s my preferred method of payment.

Cash becomes cumbersome after about $1000 and I’m slightly wary of buying something with a large amount of cash, as they know you are coming with the money on you. Same for when selling as I now have to go to a Bank or ATM to deposit the Cash.

My 2c worth payed with by PayID :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


It happens often-to me and friends/family especially on FB Marketplace. The clue is the lack of real interest in the product or any desire to question the price or condition. A common follow up story concerns being out of town and not being able to inspect, waiting for a son to come home from work with cash. The biggest clue however is the lightning speed at which they contact you to say sold. I advertised some nice vintage items from a house clearance, and I had 4 scammers reply immediately offering Pay ID and excuses as to why they couldn’t get a small amount of cash (under $50).


I wanted to buy a camera lens. It was in a suburb near my daughter’s place. I asked the seller if it was ok if she came around to pick it up. No way, the seller said. What, even if she pays with cash? Nope, this is how scammers operate, the seller said.

I gave up. Your choice, I’ll buy one elsewhere (I did, from Ted’s Cameras).

The misinformation and lack of knowledge about this sort of thing has turned many people off of online methods of purchasing.

While there are bargains to be had with the likes of Facebook and other trading sites, all too often prices aren’t that great compared to buying new from established retailers.

Oh, for high value items (such as camera lenses) I would much rock up to look at it before handing over the readies.

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If someone pays with PayID the transfer is instant (within a few seconds). If you are physically exchanging the product, the payer can pay by PayID on the spot and you should get notification before you part ways.


So it’s better than Osko then? I don’t find transfers to be “instant” but they are pretty good - except when they aren’t (say when a certain carrier has a nationwide outage :smile:). I think it could get “awkward” in that situation.

And of course you both have to have the necessary equipment with you (presumably the buyer a mobile phone to make the payment and the seller a mobile phone to verify receipt of the payment, or other similar equipment).

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We are culling our possessions and are selling goods on ‘Marketplace’. There have been several attempts at scamming.

Typically the query is very quick after the ad is posted. The price is accepted without question. They can’t come to have a look and want it sent or have it picked up. Only offer PayID, including for small low value items. If any bone fides are challenged, contact is immediately severed.

While PayID may not be the culprit, it seems to be the conduit which is commonly used to scam people, so it is easier to just totally refuse PayID. Since doing that, scam attempts effectively disappeared from the goods we are selling.