As the internet is pushing physical stores into extinction, many Nigerians are falling victim to online shopping scams.
In this tech-savvy age, vendors are turning to social media and dot com platforms to market their products.
Offering delivery right to your doorstep can be convenient, but the downside is that some people take advantage of most people’s naivety and gullible nature to scam them for their money.
Here are some tips to help you avoid such unfortunate events.
Too good to be true
If something sounds too good to be true then it’s most probably a SCAM. Run.
When the price of a product seems too low, you need to be super careful.
Try to avoid making payments into personal accounts of vendors, especially if you don’t know them personally.
All legitimate companies are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and have company accounts that can be traced in the event of fraud.
A simple Google search (“site name + scam”) will give you dozens of links to scam monitoring sites or to forums where you can read what others have experienced about that site.
Only buy from secured sites
When shopping online, you’ll have to provide financial information; most likely this will come in the form of your credit card details. No matter how secure a site may be, it’s important to realise that putting credit card information on the internet is inherently risky.
The easiest way is to check if the URL begins with “https” because that means the website is a secured. The “s” indicates an additional layer of security known as an SSL or secured socket layer.
Insist on payment on delivery
If an item is being delivered to your doorstep, there is really no reason for a social media vendor to demand you pay before delivery.
This is how most scams in Nigeria happen. They proceed to block your number and that’s the end of it.
If they are trying to go cashless, they can get a POS machine.
Buy something small first
Getting scammed happens to the best of us, regardless of the precautions we take.
So, if you must purchase a product from a vendor you haven’t used before, start with something small that doesn’t cost an arm and leg.
If all goes well, you can then proceed to patronise the vendor to the full extent of your purse.
Inspect the product upon delivery
In the event that your product reaches you, regardless of if you made a card payment or you’re making a payment on delivery, make sure you inspect the product before the delivery man or woman leaves.
You must make sure you are paying for exactly what you want in perfect condition.
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