Machine scam: what it is and how to prevent it

Find out what precautions you can take to avoid falling for this fraud.

Updated on 05/04/2023

The machine scam is a fraud that can happen when you swipe your card on the device offered by the person delivering your order on iFood.

What happens is that, after swiping the card on the machine, the delivery person says, for example, that the machine has no signal and swipes the customer's card several times, with values higher than the order.

In some cases, this fraud occurs because the machine's display may have been tampered with. An example: the fraudster enters the value of R$ 3,035 into the machine, but the value that appears on the display is R$ 35.

How to avoid machine scams

One of the recommendations to avoid exposing yourself to the risk of falling for the machine scam is to do the online payment (how to pay by card through the app). It is important to remember that, in this case, iFood does not charge any additional amount at the time of delivery.

Those who choose to pay by card at the time of delivery can take some precautions to avoid falling for the machine scam.

The main one is to always check the value on the machine's display, and not on the delivery person's cell phone app. If the person making the delivery asks to swipe the card again, check what was the reason for the error on the machine. If the delivery person refuses to show you, don't go a second time — instead, try to resolve the issue via chat on the iFood app.

Furthermore, if the delivery person says they are having signal problems and asks to exchange the device, do not make the payment.

Discover the best practices for efficient payment at the machine.

Is there another type of machine scam?

Yes. Another, older type of machine scam can happen like this: the scammer contacts the customer via chat or telephone (through URA – or automatic customer service technology) and says that there was a problem with the order (for example, the delivery person was involved in an accident or had problems with the motorbike). 

In this conversation, the scammer states, for example, that it will be necessary to call someone else to make the delivery, and therefore the customer must pay an extra fee upon delivery. The problem is that, when you swipe the card on the machine, it may be tampered with and the amount charged is much higher than that reported by the supposed delivery person.

Therefore, if you receive a message in chat or over the phone saying that you will have to pay an extra fee to receive the order, cancel it and report the attempted scam via chat in the app.

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