Bizum scam alert! It doesn’t matter when you read this. Every few months, the Civil Guard or the National Police warns us about frauds and scams with Bizum as the protagonist. When a mobile app or internet service becomes so popular, it’s inevitable that cybercriminals will want to take advantage of it to make money at the expense of others.
Bizum has become an app as popular as WhatsApp or Instagram within Spain. Sending and receiving money with this platform is easy, fast and safe. However, it is possible that they want to trick you through WhatsApp or via SMS so that you fall into the trap and give money to the wrong person. The same thing that happens when you receive false messages from your bank.
In this article we review the most common Bizum frauds and scams and. how to defend yourself against themand how to avoid them and not fall into the traps of cybercriminals. You will only have to be a little cautious and take some time before accepting a money transfer.
Examples and types of Bizum scams.
Anyone can fall for it. An individual, a company or a municipality. Of examples of Bizum scams there are handfuls in the Spanish press. Every few months there is some news about it. This is normal. Cybercriminals live on deceiving others to get money in return. To do this they impersonate your bank, the tax authorities or even the national police. But you are not helpless. You can detect the scam yourself.
A common example. You receive an unknown WhatsApp message. A supposed friend, relative or acquaintance says that has sent you money by mistakeWould you be so kind as to send the money back? If you are a frequent user of Bizum, you may often receive money by accident. Returning it is quick and easy. Too easy and too fast. So easy that if you don’t check that message and verify that he is telling the truth, you will lose that money.
Another Bizum scam method. Do you have any products for sale on second hand platforms such as. Wallapop, Vinted, Milanuncios or similar. There are plenty of them. The fake buyer sends you the money via Bizum. Or so he wants you to believe. In reality, he is sending you a collection request. If you accept, you will be paying him and not the other way around. Haste is not a good thing. And we are talking about not inconsiderable amounts. From €50 to more than €500 depending on the type of deception. That’s why Bizum limits transfers to a maximum of €1,000 per transaction or even less, depending on your bank.
More examples. In addition to WhatsApp messages, SMS or exchanges on second-hand platforms, the telephone is still a channel to fool anyone. As with other types of scams, criminals pose as your bank, your phone company, or your gas or electricity supplier. The bait is a discount or offer. In order to enjoy it, they ask for your account number or bank card, associated to your Bizum account. You will then receive a code to confirm the offer. In reality, you are actually helping the criminal to create a Bizum account with your own account or card. and thus steal your money.
But there are more phone examples. Calls that say they want to cancel a payment of an accidental purchase in your name. But in order not to charge you for the purchase, they ask for your ID and your bank card. Be wary. Did you really make that purchase? If they’re going to charge you with the card number, they should confirm that the number is correct. They should have it, right?
How to avoid Bizum fraud and scams.
The good news is that all Bizum frauds and scams use methods of. social engineering. That is, the platform is secure. They cannot “hack” Bizum, so to speak. Hence, the methods used focus on tricking the user into performing an action without realizing it. As they say in security, the weakest link in a chain is you, if we are talking about Bizum. That’s why it’s important to read carefully each message related to payments and collections.
Those responsible for Bizum are aware that their platform is being targeted by cybercriminals. That is why they provide us with a selection of tips and precautions that you should memorize so that you don’t fall into the traps and lose your money because of an oversight. As a curiosity, they talk about vishing crimes, a mixture of voice and phishing, identity theft. This type of fraud has always existed, since paper mail, but today they are based on phone calls, SMS and WhatsApp messages.
Don’t give out your banking credentials to anyone. Bizum is so popular because once you set it up, you don’t need to repeat your account or card number. If you are asked for these details, be wary. Moreover, Bizum is configured from your bank’s own app, no phone calls or WhatsApp messages. Unless you are the one making a purchase or contracting a service.
Sending requests. Confirm that the request is coming from who it says it is from. Once you have read the WhatsApp message, log in to Bizum and make sure the request is correct. That is to say, don’t accept a charge thinking it’s a payment..
Incidental payments. If you have accepted to make a payment with Bizum and you do not recognize what it refers to and to whom it has gone to, contact your bank to find out what to do. If it is confirmed to be one of the many Bizum scams, you should also contact the National Police, the Guardia Civil and/or the Spanish Data Protection Agency.
In summary, to avoid Bizum scams and frauds. we should be cautious. First, do not accept payments or collections without making sure that the source is reliable and that you are collecting and/or paying and not the other way around. And second, do not give bank details unless the source is official. Be wary of emails, WhatsApp messages and phone calls.