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Gumtree 'Account Locked' Phishing Scam


Email purporting to be from online buying and selling website Gumtree claims that you Gumtree account has been locked for security reasons and you must proceed with a verification process to restore access.

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© delta_art

Brief Analysis

The email is not from Gumtree. It is a phishing scam designed to trick you into giving your personal and financial information to Internet criminals.


For security purposes, your online account has been locked.

To restore your account, please Download the atachament and proceed with the verification process.

Detailed Analysis

Email Claims Gumtree Account Locked

According to this email, which claims to be from online buying and selling portal Gumtree, your Gumtree account has been locked for security reasons. The email urges you to download a file to start a verification process that will restore account access.

The message includes the Gumtree logo.

Email is Not From Gum Tree - Phishing Scam

However, the email is not from Gumtree and the claim that your account has been suspended is untrue. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial data as well as your Gumtree account login details.

Clicking the link in the scam email will download a .zip file that contains a .html file. Clicking the .html file will open a fake Gumtree login page in your browser. If you enter you login details on the fake page, you may then be taken to a second page that asks you to provide address and ID information as well as credit card details.

Supposedly, you are required to provide this information to validate your ownership of the account and restore account access.

However, all information submitted on the bogus webpages will be collected by criminals and used for financial fraud and identity theft. The criminals may also use the stolen information to hijack your Gumtree account and use it for further fraudulent activities.

Be Wary of Emails Claimed Account Locked or Suspended

Fake 'account locked' or 'account suspended' emails are a very common phishing tactic. Be wary of any message that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to restore access to a supposedly suspended account.

Legitimate service providers are very unlikely to send unsolicited emails asking you to click a link or download a file to restore account access.

It is always safest to login to all of your online accounts by entering the web address into your browser's address bar or via a legitimate account app.

The Gumtree website has a page information about phishing scams and an address for submitting examples.

© delta_art

Last updated: August 5, 2014
First published: August 5, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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