How to Avoid Scam when Shopping on

Staying vigilant is the best way to avoid falling victim to a scammer when shopping online. Surprisingly, a healthy dose of common sense and skepticism is all you need to detect scams and would-be scammers.

Recognizing Scams

Some of the telltale signs of a scam include:

Incredible deals

Beware of items that are priced way below the market rate. They may be faulty, of inferior quality, counterfeit, or stolen

Low prices

Fraudsters tend to list mobile phones, vehicles, and electronics at very low prices

High-pressure sales tactic

Fraudsters use scarcity tactics such as stock is running out, the item is in high demand, or they’re going out of town to get you to buy an item. Be aware of anyone badgering you with calls and text messages after making an inquiry.

An in-demand item

Scammers often claim that many people are interested in the item, but they can hold it for you if you pay a small deposit. Be wary of such sellers as they may be out to scam you.

Pushy sellers

If a merchant is relentlessly hounding you to buy an item through calls, texts, and messages, they may be up to no good. Never feel pressured to buy anything when you’re not ready.

Time-sensitive deals

A merchant might appear genuine during the negotiation process but develop a sense of urgency when delivering the goods. Never feel rushed, and always inspect the item before making payment.

Dubious payment methods

Scammers may offer to pay for goods or services s using checks, money orders, PayPal, or foreign currencies. Always insist on cash transactions using local currency

Heart-wrenching tales

Scammers often manipulate both buyers with sad, heart-wrenching tales on the D-day when you’re supposed to meet. The person may get into a financial bind and require you to bail them out.

Car trouble

The seller may offer to deliver the car you’re looking to purchase to your destination but run into trouble on the way over. They may ask you to send a small portion of the money for fuel or minor repairs.

Changing meeting locations severally

A scammer will change the meeting location several times, citing genuine and logical reasons. In the end, you’ll let your guard down, and the person will scam you.

10 Golden Rules for Shopping Safely on

Keep these golden rules in mind when using the marketplace to avoid falling victims to fraudsters.

Always meet the seller in person: Face-to-face transactions allow you to inspect the merchandise before making payment.

Never transact while you’re in a hurry: Never engage in a transaction whereby the seller is in a great hurry. You’re likely to get scammed.

Always transact in a public space: Pick a safe public space with plenty of people around when meeting a vendor for the very first time. Be wary of anyone who wants to meet in a secluded location.

Take a friend: Have a friend accompany you when meeting a stranger for safety and security.

Always insist on cash transactions: Never accept any other form of payment except cold hard cash.

Always count and authenticate the cash: Count the money carefully and check each bill individually to avoid being paid in counterfeit money.

Always inspect a rental property in person: Never pay a deposit without thoroughly checking the property.

Never send advance payment: Genuine sellers won’t insist that you send a deposit in advance. Make full payment when collecting the goods.

Never send a deposit before inspecting a property: Resist every effort to get you to put down a deposit to secure a rental property. You could lose your money.

Set the terms of engagement: Arrange the ideal meeting place, set the time, and agree on the price before setting a meet. That gives you enough latitude to back out if something seems off.

AI Avatar AI Assistant

Main Menu