Você está aqui: Página Inicial / Blog / Card payment machine scam: avoid delivery-related frauds

Card payment machine scam: avoid delivery-related frauds

You may have heard of phone call scams in which people impersonate others to ask for money. In recent months, however, a new type of fraud has become very popular: the delivery scam or card payment machine scam.

Imagine it’s Sunday night and you’re hungry. With nothing in the fridge and feeling a little lazy, you decide to order delivery via an app. To make things easier, you opt to pay in advance and wait for the meal to arrive. 

While waiting, you receive a call from the supposed restaurant. Allegedly, the delivery fee wasn’t added to the total and, as such, it will be charged upon arrival. When your order arrives, the courier whips out a somewhat battered payment machine showing a charge of $4.90. You insert or hold your card over the reader and head back inside with your food. Minutes later, you receive a notice for an approved purchase totaling $3,304.90. 

The cracked screen on the courier’s machine meant you couldn’t see the extra 3 digits in the amount. And just like that, a purchase that was supposed to facilitate things ends up turning into a major headache. Unfortunately, situations like this are becoming more regular among food app customers.

Strategies used in the card payment machine scam

We, app users, are the victims of these types of scams. And this fraud comes in diverse forms, though there are three more common approaches. 

Damaged screen

In one of the most common types of fraud, the swindler alleges that the screen of the card payment machine is broken or damaged. He can then insert an amount higher than expected by the customer, who makes a normal payment and only realizes later that they have been scammed. There are also cases of scammers tricking victims into entering their PIN instead of the amount. So, always remember: your PIN should only be displayed as asterisks, never as numbers. 


Even when we’ve already paid for purchases, scammers try to talk victims into believing some alteration was made to the amount, that there was a payment error and some type of additional charge that still needs to be paid. As such, they request another payment. In situations like this, be careful. It’s best to call the store in question and check the information. 


Minutes before the courier arrives, the supposed restaurant calls the customer and reports an error in processing payment. The caller then alleges that the sum will be charged by the courier upon delivery. Callers also attempt to persuade victims to reveal personal or financial information in certain cases.

How to avoid card payment machine scams

In most cases, people only realize they’ve been scammed a few minutes afterward. The best way to stay protected, as always, is to pay careful attention to possible red flags in suspicious circumstances. Below are a few more security tips to avoid the card payment machine scam!  

  • The first and most important recommendation for any type of financial transaction is to pay careful attention to the process.  

  • Always check the amount entered into the machine. 

  • If the courier alleges that the screen on the payment machine is damaged or broken, refuse to complete payment. 

  • Make sure the PIN is inserted in the right place. 

  • Don’t share bank information over the phone. 

  • In suspicious situations, call the establishment directly through official channels. 

Article originally written in Portuguese by Perallis Security Content Team: Golpe da maquininha: evite as fraudes na hora do delivery — Perallis Security