- Slow it down - Scams are often designed to create a sense of urgency. Take time to ask questions and think it through.
- Spot check - Do your research to double check the details you are getting. Does what they’re telling you make sense?
- Stop! Don’t send - No reputable person or agency will ever demand payment or your personal information on the spot.
You find a cheap car online, and the seller claims that for your protection the purchase will be completed via Google Payments or Google Play. The car price is "too good to be true" and the seller claims a need to sell the car quickly because he or she is moving, moving out of the country, being called for military service, getting a divorce, etc. The reality is that there is no car, and you won’t be using Google Payments. Instead, the seller will send you an invoice that appears to be from Google Payments or Google Play, but will instruct you to make the payment via Google Play gift cards, Western Union, MoneyGram or bank transfer.
A legitimate Google Payments transaction will require that you sign in to your Google Account and execute the payment using the Google Payments interface. Google Payments does not accept wire transfers/bank transfers or payments via Western Union/MoneyGram, nor does it use any escrow type of payment.
Google Payments used to be called Google Wallet or Google Checkout, and some scammers still use the Wallet or Checkout logo and trademarks in their emails and other communications.
Google Play gift cards are meant for purchases of Apps, Books, Movies, Music and subscriptions on the Google Play store. It is a violation of our terms of service to use Google Play gift cards for anything other than purchases offered in the Google Play store. Vehicles and boats are not items eligible for purchase on the Google Play Store. To view what you can purchase on the Google Play store in your country, visit the Google Play Help Center page.
- Read more about the what to do if you’re a victim of a gift card scam
- If you received the email from a Gmail address, you can report abuse to help Google take appropriate action on accounts involved in this scam.