Australians using Afterpay urged to be careful as scam email circulates

Australians using the 'Buy Now, Pay Later' (BNPL) site Afterpay are being targeted by a new email scam, which attempts to trick consumers into thinking their payments haven't gone through properly.

The email has the subject line: 'Your last Afterpay payment was declined' and is sent by 'Afterpay - Support', Yahoo Australia reported.

According to MailGuard Australia, the scam email has Afterpay's logo and branding on it which could trick Australians into thinking the email is legitimate.

In the scam email, it tells users their "Afterpay account is currently restricted from spending", and it then asks the user to retry their payment by clicking on a button in the email that says "retry payment".

This takes people to a site that closely resembles the login page for the BNPL site.

"They are asked to enter the email address and password associated with their account. The only differentiating factor is the URL, which is not connected with Afterpay," MailGuard Australia reported.

The user is then told to undergo an authentication process and a verification code is sent to their cellphone.

They are later asked to update their payment details by entering their credit card details.

The user is then asked to enter a one-use-only password which is likely to be used by the scammer to process the payment, Mail Guard Australia reported.

If Australians receive the email they have been urged to delete it immediately, not click any links in the email or provide any personal information.

Many people have turned to BNPL sites like Afterpay to help soften the blow on the Christmas shopping budget.

In November, the New Zealand Government proposed the idea to apply checks to BNPL loans above $600 to avoid consumers piling on the debt.

The way the checks will be carried out is still being worked on, but the Government's seeking feedback on requiring affordability assessments similar to what's required for other credit contracts like credit cards and personal loans. 

"While for many, BNPL can be a useful way to spread the cost of large household purchases, we are trying to stop vulnerable people getting into a spiral of debt if lenders allow them to take on more than they can afford," Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said.