Bizum is the most widely used system for sending small payments between users in Spain, where it has more than 15 million users. It is a very useful application, which allows you to send friends or family a payment to, for example, complete a small debt, pay the proportional part of the birthday gift of a friend or pay the part that corresponds to us of the last beers that we have taken.
Bizum is used by more than 15 million people in Spain
However, Bizum is also a payment system to carry out small purchases and economic transactions, and in this context you have to be careful because a wave of scams is becoming popular through this system that have led more than one to lose thousands of euros.
As you know, when you send a Bizum the recipient receives a message confirming that the money has arrived directly to his bank account. However, there is also the possibility to “request money”. In this case, the person to whom the request is sent receives that message asking for money, at the expense of his agreement.
What some cybercriminals are doing, to try to trick users, is to contact them through product buying and selling apps (such as Wallapop or Vinted) where they are selling what they no longer need.
They signal their interest in buying it, but instead of making the payment through the app itself, what they do is ask them for their phone number to pay them through Bizum. What happens is that, instead of sending them the money, what they do is ask them for money.
Users, unconcerned, when receiving a message from Bizum (and as they were expecting the money for the transaction) hit “accept” without realizing that, instead of sending them money, what they are being asked for is that amount.
Cybercriminals can repeat the process several times even with the same user, since the user, not receiving the money in his account, thinks it is a mistake and accepts the message again with a new request for money.
what can be done in these cases?
The main thing is to carefully review any message that comes to us from Bizum, especially if the sender is not a trusted person, to know if instead of sending us money what he is doing is asking us for funds.
If we receive a message asking us for money, and it is not from a person we trust or based on a situation we recognize, the only thing to do is to ignore it and, of course, not accept the money transfer.
If we have sent money and we have been victims of a scam, the first thing to do is to bring the case to the attention of the authorities. Reporting the situation to the Telematic Crimes Unit of the Police may be the first step to try to recover what was scammed or, at least, for the cybercriminals to be intercepted.