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Top five tips for staying safe online

With online scams becoming more sophisticated, there are some things you should know so you can protect yourself.

1 September 2023

Keeping our members safe is our number one priority and we go above and beyond to keep our site secure. However, with online scams becoming more and more sophisticated, there are some things you should know so you can protect yourself.

1. Update your password regularly

When was the last time you updated your Trade Me password?

Now's good. It takes just a few seconds.

Make sure your password is complex and unique to each website. Avoid using personal information that's easy to guess like your pet's name. A long (10+ -characters) password that uses a mix of numbers, letters and symbols is the strongest, or you could use a password manager.

Consider setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA) to further reduce the risk of unauthorised access to your account. MFA is a secure authentication method that requires users to prove their identity by providing two pieces of evidence that they are who they say they are.

2. Watch out for phishing emails

Watch out for phishing emails

Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them information. If you receive an email that just doesn't look right. Don't take the bait.

Look out for spelling mistakes, bad grammar, strange email addresses or links, an odd sense of urgency, or a deal that is just too good to be true.

We will never ask you to confirm your password or login details over email or phone. If you receive a suspected phishing email that uses our name or logo, forward it to

3. Keep it onsite

Protect yourself from scammers by keeping your personal information private. Never share your contact details in the listing description or Q&A and always complete sales through Trade Me.

This means you can be sure that you are actually dealing with the member who has agreed to purchase your item. We recommend using our Messages feature to communicate with a buyer/seller post-purchase.

4. Use trusted payment methods

Never send money overseas for a Trade Me trade. Ever.

We recommend using Ping, our instant payments service, or Afterpay. By using these features, we're able to track the payment and communications and assist should anything go wrong. It also means you're covered under our Buyer Protection Policy.

5. Report anything that raises an eyebrow

If anyone sees something on Trade Me that worries them we urge them to get in touch with us. There's a Community Watch button on every listing that can be used to alert us to anything that doesn't seem quite right. Otherwise, you can email our team via

Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

For more tips on staying safe online, head to Netsafe's website.