Postmate workers are cheated of their income by phishing

Over at Markup is an alarming story about a rash of phishing scams that have targeted gamers for postmates. Drivers receive phone calls from people claiming to be employees of the postal service, urging workers to hand over their login details – usually under the guise of keeping a driver’s account in good condition or avoiding claims of fraud.

Once the fraudsters have received that information, they exchange the credit card information in the account – Postmates make weekly deposits of a worker’s income, but immediate transfers can also be requested – and then empty the balance of everything there. Markup have talked to many Postmates players who have been born with this scam, and others use Reddit and social media to warn their followers about phishing and social technology attempts.

The unknown call usually arrives immediately after an order. (Making an order allows the perpetrators to easily reach their postman’s driver by phone.) Some fraudsters have gone so far as to involve restaurants in their system.

Drivers say postmates are not doing enough to make them aware of the phishing threat, which has only become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scammers take advantage of how busy and in a hurry these gig workers are often, so drivers ask for more protection in the app.

A proposal is an automatic holding of a driver’s account when the deposit information changes, just to give a little more time to prevent a worker’s money from being released. Another measure that can help would be a caller ID that clearly identifies when a call comes from a Postmate’s customer account. Postmates have this support page about protecting accounts, but several drivers told Markup they had never seen it before.

Postmen say it has implemented two-factor authentication and may block payments if fraud is suspected. But drivers who have been hit by the scam say the company is difficult to reach, so they have little hope of regaining their lost revenue. The whole story on Markup is worth reading – and even more reason to tip well when you lean towards the gaming economy.

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