Safe Trading

While most people trading on Gumtree have a good experience, it’s worth thinking about how to stay safe before you start. Find out more about keeping personal details secure, spotting a deal that doesn’t feel quite right and knowing who to contact if things go wrong.

Protecting your privacy

We mask your email address to protect you from unwanted contacts. It’s best to be suspicious about requests to communicate on a private email platform outside Gumtree, as these could be coming from scammers. If they don’t want to use Gumtree messages, you could ask to speak over the phone. Most fraudsters will try to avoid this and stay anonymous.

Spotting suspicious ads

If it’s too good to be true… you know the rest. Watch out for stock photos and blinding deals, and study the market for what price is about right. Feel free to request more details and, ultimately, walk away if you still feel there’s something wrong.

Safe payments and receipts

It’s always good to see the item before paying, either in person or by asking for a photo or video from the seller. It’s also a red flag if the seller requests a deposit to ‘secure’ an unseen item.

Some things to consider about different payment methods:

  • Cash is a good option, except for large amounts which may make you uncomfortable.
  • Bank transfers leave little protection if you’re unhappy with the item.
  • PayPal is usually a good method, because it protects the purchaser, but beware of using the ‘Pay Friends and Family’ option, which doesn’t have the same safeguards.

As a seller, here are some things to be aware of in case of an attempted scam:

  • Payment confirmation documents can be forged, so it’s best to wait until the money is in your account.
  • Confirmation from money wiring services can easily be faked.
  • You should verify that PayPal receipts are actually visible in your account before handing over your item.

Our safety tips will help to protect you but if something goes pear-shaped, you can check our helpdesk for how to report an ad and more.