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Scam Alert: Google Wallet is Scammers' Latest Twist

Google Wallet was designed as an easy way for friends and family members to send each other money. But if someone you don't know asks you to pay for a product or service through Google Wallet, be careful! BBB Scam Tracker has received several reports of bait and switch schemes claiming to be part of Google Wallet.

How the Scam Works:

You are looking to buy a car, RV, concert tickets, or another item online when you find the perfect listing at an incredible price. You contact the seller, and they make the sale seem urgent. The seller will often claim to be moving or deployed. If you agree to purchase, they tell you to complete the transaction using Google Wallet.

But instead of making the payment directly through Google, the scammer will ask for your name and contact information. Then, they will say that Google will contact you with further instructions.

You get an email from "Google Wallet" with instructions to buy a prepaid debit card or wire the money. This is not how Google Wallet works! These methods are like paying cash. Once the money has been sent or the prepaid card information passed along, the scammer disappears, and it's impossible to get your money back

Protect Yourself from Google Wallet Scams:

  • Understand how Google Wallet works. A legitimate Google Payments transaction requires that you sign in to your Google Account and complete the payment using the Google Payments interface. Google Payments never accepts wire transfers or bank transfers.

  • Don't send money using Google Wallet to someone you don't know. If you don't know the seller and are asked to pay outside of a reputable purchasing platform, it's best to pay in person and only after you've received the product or service.

  • Review BBB online shopping tips. The type of payment requested may vary, but most online purchase scammers use similar tactics. See for more advice.

For More Information

To learn more about scams, go to BBB Scam Tips ( To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (

NOTE: Google Wallet is owned by Google, a BBB National Partner.


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