Blog home Lifestyle How to Safely and Securely Trade on Gumtree: A Guide to Protecting Yourself

How to Safely and Securely Trade on Gumtree: A Guide to Protecting Yourself

Stay Safe on Gumtree: Learn about ID verification, trust indicators, and fraud detection. Follow safety tips to protect yourself when buying or selling online.


It’s no secret that it's not safe out there; it's a common occurrence on other platforms and the internet as well. We see phishing, hacking, social engineering, fraud, and theft every day around us. The fact is, scammers move to where an opportunity presents itself.  While Gumtree has made safety a #1 priority, we also ask our users to remain vigilant and always look for tell-tale signs of fraud when dealing with potential buyers or sellers. Scammer’s tactics change frequently, which means that we must be reactive to anything and everything that they might throw at us. 

What has Gumtree done to improve buyer and seller safety: 

  • ID Verification - Buyers and Sellers are able to verify their ID on Gumtree. By verifying your ID and mobile number, users will receive a “verified” badge on their profile, indicating to potential buyers/sellers that they’ve gone through additional verification processes to prove they are who they say they are. 
  • Forced login - Gumtree recently introduced forced login to post and reply. This requires all Gumtree users to register before being able to use the Gumtree platform for buying or selling. This change reduces the number of spam responses received while also improving overall safety. 
  • Dedicated Moderation team - Unlike other platforms, Gumtree has a dedicated Moderation team. Our team is frequently reviewing ads, looking for new ways to help improve users' safety on Gumtree. 
  • Sophisticated fraud detection systems – Gumtree has included dedicated fraud detection systems to assist our moderation team. These systems help create a safer and cleaner Gumtree experience for all.  
  • User report feature – Gumtree has a dedicated “report this ad” button located on each ad. The button allows users to report fraudulent or suspicious behaviour and other policy violations to our team for review. 
  • Helpdesk team – Our Support team is always ready to assist with any safety-related queries, even when you just need some advice on a buyer or seller.
  • Helpdesk safety articles – Our team is constantly updating our helpdesk articles to ensure our users are aware of all the latest scam trends and safety tips. 

What should I, as a buyer/seller, look out for when using Gumtree? 

When you are looking to buy or sell something on Gumtree, it is always good to look at details from the prospective buyer’s/seller’s account. At Gumtree, we refer to these as trust indicators. Below are the trust indicators that are visible to users on a user profile: 

  • Is the user you are communicating with verified or not? A verified user means that they have completed the ID and mobile number verification
  • How long has the user been active on Gumtree? Users can see how long a buyer/seller has been on Gumtree by looking at their account profile. A long history will indicate that they have made multiple deals with a good track record.
  • Is the user ID verified? ID verification helps to confirm that the user is who they say they are.

While trust indicators are there to help you make an informed decision about a buyer/seller, they do not always mean the person you are dealing with is 100% trusted, which is why we always suggest users also follow our general safety guidelines when buying/selling on Gumtree:  

  1. Don't do anything online that you wouldn't do in real life! 
  2. Use common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 
  3. Beware of common scams and fraud. Click here for scam examples.
  4. Gumtree encourages face-to-face, local trading - When you find an item you'd like to buy, ask to meet in person to see the item and exchange money in a safe public place. 
  5. If a local transaction is not possible, never send your item before receiving the money and make sure that it's reflected in your bank account. 
  6. Do not accept or pay using any form of anonymous payment services such as Bidpay, eWallet, Western Union, PayPal or Money Gram. 
  7. Never provide your personal or banking information - ( card number, ID number) to others over the Internet. 

If I've been scammed on Gumtree, what should I do? 

  1. If you made any payment to the scammer, reach out to your financial institution immediately to see if they can reverse the payment. 
  2. If not already, reach out to the police to open a case of fraud. 
  3. Please log a ticket via the Gumtree helpdesk and include as much information as possible.

What if I wasn’t defrauded, but I want to report suspicious activity on Gumtree? 

  1. Report the ad via the “Report this ad” button located on the ad. 
  2. Report the incident with as much information as possible to our Support team via the helpdesk.