The “reverse bizum” scam, or how to lose money when you think you are receiving it

The Civil Guard has managed to recover around 6,300 euros of the 9,000 swindled from a resident in Navarra through the “bizum inverso” scam, which consists of authorizing a charge to your bank account in the belief that an income is being accepted through this mobile payment application. The Civil Guard of Navarra warns that this type of deception is increasing. “It seems quite simple, but there are many who do not usually realize it,” they explain. In this case, two men aged 25 and 45 who live in Murcia and are accused of a crime of fraud are being investigated.

The investigation began with the complaint of a citizen who had put an item for sale on a portal for the sale of second-hand products. According to his account, a possible buyer contacted him and, during the negotiation, they agreed that he would send the money through the Bizum application, which allows instant money transfers. Instead of paying the payment, the alleged buyer requested 9,000 euros and the seller accepted the operation, not realizing that he was authorizing a transfer of money from him to the scammer’s account.

The profile of those who suffer the scam is very varied, it is not limited to an age range, as with the amounts stolen. The Civil Guard ensures that it investigates this type of scam, whatever the amount, since when it comes to reduced figures, a greater number of affected people are usually detected.

On this occasion, the investigators have recovered 6,300 euros of the 9,000 stolen and have blocked two of the bank accounts of those investigated. The procedure is complex, especially because it is not due to a security breach, but rather the person who is scammed authorizes the operation, for which neither the Bizum application nor the bank are responsible.

The Civil Guard recommends reporting what happened as soon as possible so that the agents can block the money in the scammer’s account before they withdraw it in cash or transfer it to other accounts. One of the main problems is that the affected person does not realize what has happened until some time has passed, and by then, that money could have been transferred to different accounts, in different countries, which makes it even more difficult to recover.

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Income does not need authorization

The agents remember that when a deposit is received through Bizum, nothing needs to be authorised, because the deposit reaches the bank account directly. If they ask for the operation to be accepted, it means that money will not be received, but the other way around, that the transfer to another account is authorized. To confuse the scammed person, scammers often write the word “PAYMENT” on the concept of the transaction, accompanied by the name of the seller or the product.

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