Knowing the 7 most common Pix scams and how spot them

Every day someone who doesn't pay attention when it comes to handling money and someone who knows it meet each other. See what Pix scams are in the streets and learn how to spot them

November 14, 2022

Redação N26


According to data from the Central Bank, Brazil has almost 140 million users with registered Pix keys and more than 130 million with at least one transaction made - which is equivalent to 70% of the entire banked population in the country. And if there are a lot of people using it, of course there are also a lot of Pix scams.

Groups specialized in frauds of this type take advantage of Pix’s speed and practicality to act. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the main scams related to Pix. Here's a helpful list.

The classic data theft

This scam created to steal information works the same way with Pix, credit card, transfers, etc. Even with many actions that don't even involve money, such as simple registrations.

The strategy is to create a fake page to deceive who is registering their Pix key. Scammers send messages via SMS or email with a link to a website they created. As soon as the person enters their name, CPF, bank account and other information, it's gone.

Do not fall: check twice that you are on your bank’s real web pages. Before entering any information, check the url (the address that appears in the browser). If it's too long or full of things you can't identify, be suspicious.

WhatsApp cloned or “changed number”

The two most common Pix scams happen on WhatsApp and almost identically. In the first, scammers clone your profile and open it on another device with the same number, photo and name. Then they start approaching contacts with some excuse to ask for money.

In another version, they use this data to create a new WhatsApp profile, linked to a new phone number. Pretending to be the person, they send messages explaining that they changed their number and the same chat asking for money.

Don't fall: activate the two-step verification function in your WhatsApp app to create a protective barrier on your account. And if you are approached by someone you know via WhatsApp asking for money, call the person.

The fake news about the Pix bug

Taking advantage of the fast-spreading fake news, scammers created a story saying that there is a glitch or bug in Pix that can benefit anyone who is “smart” – yep, the victim.

The details change from time to time, but usually the rumor is that the person will get back double the amount transferred or pre-set “prize” amounts if they send money for certain Pix keys.

Whoever falls out ends up sending money directly to the scammer (it’s their key, of course).

Don't fall: easy money doesn't exist. And if it is announced on social media, even less. Think twice, three times before you believe rumors about Pix bugs (or anything else).

The fake call center

In this scheme, scammers get in touch pretending to be from the call center of the bank where the person has an account and offering help to register a key or saying that some kind of test needs to be done.

The victim is induced to give their data or to create a key and make a transfer via Pix (to the scammer's key) to test its operation and under the promise that the value will be returned. But it never comes back.

Don't fall: financial institutions cannot actively request personal data from their customers, only when an operation is requested by the person himself. Also, there are no tests of this kind with Pix - and if there were, you wouldn't be informed by phone.

QR Code and fake vouchers in transactions

As many people end up buying things and paying via Pix, some scams are dedicated to catching those who do things without paying much attention at this moment. Whether to pay or receive.

The QR code from some place or website can be tampered with - taking your money to an account that is not the person or establishment that sold you. If you are receiving money, you may also fall victim to scammers who buy and send fake transfer receipts.

Don't fall: always check the name associated with the codes and keys that appear when transferring and on all transaction receipts involving Pix.

Pix as an investment

The scam is aimed at those looking for investments with an immediate and profitable return. In it, scammers known as the “kings” and “queens” of Pix use victims to launder money - and steal more.

It works like this: profiles of these “experts” publish tables of values ​​that, if transferred, can give immediate and predefined (and exorbitant) returns. Whoever falls, sends the value in the hope that the return will come. But it doesn't.

In some cases, it may even come. Scammers choose some victims to actually receive some return. But they do this to launder the dirty money they are getting from other scams. And the victim who received that return can still be framed criminally liable as an accomplice.

Don't fall: there is no immediate and profitable return on investments. Investing requires planning and knowledge, so avoid “opportunities” of this type.

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