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Fraud Protection

Be aware; don't become a victim of fraud

Users of Austree Classifieds may receive fraudulent offers for the items they have listed. Use these guidelines to protect yourself from fraud.

More Information About Fraud

Users of Austree Classified may receive fraudulent offers for the items they have listed.

Please watch for the following signs of obvious scammers:


1. Phone number listed is wrong.
2. Buyer or seller explains that they are currently out of the country.
3. Buyer or seller explains that a third party or service will pick up or deliver the item.
4. A product is advertised at a very low price.
5.  The other party wants to complete the sale outside of the auction site (if you do this, you lose any protections that the site operator offer to their users).
6. The other party insists on immediate payment, or payment by electronic funds transfer or a wire service.
7. Email inquiry is poorly written, generic, or strange sounding.
8. Offer is simply too good to be true.
9. Seller or Buyer says that Austree Classified will handle the transaction. Austree Classified is NEVER involved in any transaction between buyer and seller. Anyone who claims otherwise is a scammer.
10. Seller or Buyer says that Austree offers a purchase protection or warranty program. Austree Calssified DOES NOT offer any type of purchase protection or warranty program nor do we partner with any third parties to offer such program. Anyone who claims otherwise is a scammer.


Individuals from outside the Australia will often respond to or post ads on various classified websites. These offers are most common with big ticket items such as major appliances, ATVs, cars or other Expensive items. The individuals will often claim they are from number of different countries. These offers usually take the form of email, but please be aware that they have also been know to use TTY (a relay phone service for the deaf) and other means.

Typically they agree to purchase your item and send counterfeit cashiers checks or money orders (often without verification that you will sell the item) in amounts exceeding the asked price. They then request that the extra money be returned to them via a legitimate means usually Western Union.

By the time the bank discovers the fraud and reverses the deposited check or money order, the excess money has usually already been sent to the fraudulent buyer, and the item may have been shipped. In every instance the bank will pass the loss back to you, who deposited the counterfeit check This means you are accountable for the cash sent as well as any fees, and likely will not be able to retrieve your item if it has shipped.

Users should understand that Austree Classifieds is meant to be a LOCAL service. All offers should be considered carefully, especially any offers received from outside of Australia and the immediately surrounding areas. These fraud schemes should not deter users from using the Internet as a place to sell and buy goods. Users should feel completely safe in placing classified ads, but should use wisdom in offers received from interested parties.

These messages are simply an annoyance, and cannot harm you if you don't respond to them. If you are suspicious please let them know that you are not interested (or just ignore their offer). It is not necessary to forward or reply  these messages to Austree. However if you feel compelled to report these incidents to the authorities you can reach the ACCC Indigenous website  through the links below.

Tell someone if you think you’ve been scammed – don’t feel shame.

You can report scams to the ACCC Indigenous Hotline on 1300 303 143.

You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.

How To Be a Safe Buyer

There are a number of things you can and should do to ensure you don't get taken advantage of when buying and selling items on

1. Always be vigilant for scams (especially those claiming to be from or originating overseas).
2. Always ask for paperwork (i.e. registration, warranty info, title, etc.) to verify the seller's claims.
3. Always verify the item's condition before payment.
4. Have an expert examine the item before you buy.
5. Always print a copy of the classified ad for your records
6. Make sure the terms of the sale are clear.
7. Meet Seller in-person to see the item and exchange money. Austree embolden's face-to-face, local trading.
8. For personal ease and safety take someone with you, or have someone with you if a buyer is coming to your home or workplace. If this is not possible, arrange to meet in a public place. If it's a home service ad, ask the poster to produce identity and proof of qualification before inviting them into your home.
9. Be cautious of anyone who refuses to communicate on the telephone.
10. When buying a vehicle, do a free registration check on Then for more comprehensive information, pay $21 for a vehicle history report.
11. Be honest about your expectations.

Most importantly, if something seems out of the ordinary or inconsistent - take precautions to protect yourself.

For more information on how to protect against fraud, click here.