Easter is a time for getaways and synonymous with renting accommodation. The increase in the demand for accommodation is accompanied by cyber scams and, in particular, a modality that is on the rise: the ‘Bizum scam’.
The use of the instant payment application is growing every day, however, some of its functions are not known by all users, something that cybercriminals take advantage of to swindle money. At Easter, the main target is the renters of apartments or rural houses. The scammers pretend to be tenants and, once they gain their trust, they propose to pay the rent through Bizum. The homeowner receives a notification that appears to indicate that he has collected the agreed amount, but in reality it is a request for payment.
“The victim receives a message in which it can be verified that it is a payment, but it must be read carefully, since the strategy is to deceive the landlord by not sending the agreed money, but by doing the reverse,” they explain to Cadena Ser from reclaimer.es. Once the transaction is accepted, the transaction is completed instantly and the scammer is never heard from again. Not only that, but in a hypothetical litigation, he could claim that the money transfer was made voluntarily.
It is not the only scam of its kind. On its website, the Bank of Spain warns about three common frauds that use the popular payment application:
– The fake buyer scam. A person interested in a second-hand item that someone put up for sale asks for their mobile number to make a bizum as a deposit, but instead of sending the money, they use the functionality to request it.
– Fake seller scam. In this case, the cybercriminal sells very desirable things at a price below the market price. To those who bite, they ask them to advance the money or a part to make the shipment. The victim pays for Bizum, the product never arrives and the seller quickly disappears with the money.
– The false aid scam. Another common example is that of false social security benefits or ERTE. Fraudsters contact their victims by SMS or call, pretending to be a public body issuing an official notification. Under this pretext, he announces that he will make a shipment through Bizum, but the deception consists, once again, in requesting money.