Scam Examples

Scam Emails & Text/SMS Examples

Please find some examples below of scam emails and texts/SMS to help you identify a scam. Always be wary of people replying to your ads by email or text/SMS only, who are not prepared or able to talk over the phone and meet face to face. 

Scam Example 1 – Sent by a fraudulent seller about a caravan

Text/SMS Message

Hi, My 2011 Jayco Swan is still for sale. I want $12800. I have some work now but text me your email and Esteban will get back to you with more details, Regards Pasquali.

Email Message


Sorry for taking so long to reply, I'm working for the Department of Defence and I was transferred to a new military base in WA. I am providing Overseas-Deployment-Training (Desert Training).
If you are still interested in buying my caravan, I'm asking $12,500 (I've lowered the price because I'm running out of time). Registered & insured till July 2014. It is very well maintained, always garage kept, excellent condition. I have to sell the caravan as fast as I can because in four weeks I will be deployed overseas and I'll stay there for a while. I intend to buy a new one when I get back home.
No need to worry because I can ship it anywhere in Australia.
I also need to know if you have the cash to buy it, because there are a lot of interested buyers. You don't have to worry about the distance. You'll love this caravan, I can guarantee you that!

Best Regards,

Scam Example 2 – Sent by a fraudulent seller about a bike

Email Message


Thanks for getting back to me, I can accept $800 and we ship same day payment is confirmed by the billing department and provide tracking number for your convenience. You can login to your paypal account and send payment after linking your credit or debit card to;

Let me know once payment is made and if you have any other questions.


Scam Example 3 – Sent by a fraudulent buyer offering to buy an item

Email Message

Hi, Thanks for the prompt response.. I am ready to buying it now for my DAD and i am at sea at the moment as i am a marine engineer and due to the nature of my work, phone calls making and visiting of website are restricted but i squeezed out time to check this advert and send you an email regarding it. I really want the goods to be a surprise for DAD so i wont let him know anything about the goods until it gets delivered to him, i am sure he will be more than happy with the Product. I insisted on paypal because i don't have access to my bank account online as i don't have internet banking, but i can pay from my paypal account, as i have my bank a/c attached to it, i will need you to give me your paypal email address and the price so i can make the payments asap for the goods and pls if you don't have paypal account yet, it is very easy to set up, go to and get it set up, after you have set it up i will only need the e-mail address you use for registration with paypal so as to put the money through. have a pick up agent that will come and pick the goods up after i have made the payments... Thanks Guido

Scam Example 4 – Sent by a fraudulent buyer offering to buy a kitchen setting

Email Message


I saw the ad and picture. I'm fine with the price and willing to purchase it. I will send you check for payment and after the money is in your account, I will arrange for the collection. Do not worry about the shipping. Please contact me a agent for removal at home and all necessary paper will sign my name. I want to make a proper arrangement to the shipment to avoid delays.

Please reply with details for payment: -



Cellphone number:

Home number (if available):


I will ensure that the payment arrive at your address within 5 working days. I just want to inform you the paycheck will 100% clear in your bank account before pickup. You will confirm the check clear before we proceed. My bank advised me to pay by check due to I dont have online banking. So as soon you deposit the check in your bank account I have already instructed my bank they should make your account credit once you deposit the check in your bank account

Thank you



SMS/Text and Email Scams

With the growth of moblie phones, SMS scams are also increasing. These SMS/text scam messages are being used to con mobile users into email communication and providing their personal details. If you receive an SMS/text message about your item, asking to further communicate via email, we suggest you either ignore it or try phoning the number to speak with the potential buyer, to see if the phone number and buyer are legitimate. A phonecall to the number also helps to check if it's an active number and not automated. We advise not to click on any links in SMS/test messages or use brokerage companies. People claiming to be overseas, interstate, too busy working or who are willing to purchase an item without seeing it, or encouraging you to purchase an item by viewing photos only and without seeing it in person, are unlikely to be legitimate. Be wary of all items including cars, boats, motorbikes, pets and rental properties that are priced well below their market value to attract your attention. Inspect advertised products and items in person where possible. Being a local community website, Free Classifieds encourages face to face trading.


What to do if you Suspect a Scam Email or Text/SMS

If you receive what you suspect is a scam email or text/SMS, please notify us via the 'Report Ad' button found on all ads, and if necessary we will remove the advertisement and suspend the account. We will also add the scam message to this page to warn other users of Please also report it immediately to the police and the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) on 1300 302 502 or visit the SCAMwatch website at You may also contact your state's local consumer affairs agency. The SCAMwatch website provides further advice about classifieds scams. This information can be found via the Personalised Scams link. You can also forward any suspicious text/SMS to ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) for them to investigate it. The dedicated ACMA number for Scam SMS is 0429 999 888.