Six (6) ways to protect yourself from being scammed by fake online stores.

The world of business continues to evolve. Human beings are constantly finding more convenient ways of buying and selling. The internet has become a very useful tool and the very life force of e-commerce but fake online stores continue to operate.

Like all good things, there is also the bad side and mostly those who are not very conversant with buying and selling online are the ones who get cheated 99% of the time.

There are so many online marketplaces and popular amongst them is Jiji formerly OLX and Tonaton. These two platforms have almost everything you need especially second-hand products.

Those who manage these online marketplaces do their very best to protect users from getting scammed. They often warn you not to make payment before receiving an item you purchased. As much as they try their best to delete scam accounts, scammers still find creative ways to dupe their victims.

Find out six (6) ways to protect yourself from being scammed by fake online stores

1. Check reviews. Some of the reviews are so good to seem true because the owners of these fake online stores delete the bad ones that do not serve their agenda them. If you notice that it is the same group of people giving positive reviews under all the other items the seller has put up for sale then you are probably dealing with a scammer.

Six (6) ways to protect yourself from being scammed by fake online stores.

2. If they insist their store is an online store and thus they don’t have a physical location where they sell then you are likely dealing with a fraud. It is always important to ask where their shop is located. As much as possible try to go there personally. However, if it is too far from you then you can make someone in that town stop by to make the purchase for you or at least confirm the location of the shop and check if their brand aligns with what they are advertising online. Big e-commerce shops like Jumia and eBay have physical delivery shops.

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3. If the seller agrees to make a delivery before you pay on the condition that you pay for the delivery fee before he or she sends the item then you should know you are getting scammed. He or she wasn’t interested in that huge price tag on the item but rather is after the little delivery fee you may or may not pay. It doesn’t make sense someone will agree to send you let’s say a laptop worth 2,500 without knowing you but can’t trust you to make a payment of 100 cedis on delivery.

4. If the pictures posted to represent the item seem downloaded then it is fake. You can use the google image search engine to find out where the photos were downloaded from. In some cases, the seller may be selling you something that isn’t exactly what they have advertised. I mean if you have the real thing then why don’t you post it there? The few genuine ones may also just be drop shipping to you. You have to shine your eyes.

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5. As much as possible try to buy directly from the manufacturer’s website to ensure that you are getting authentic service and good quality products. It may surprise you but some of the big brand names deliver to countries like Ghana and other countries you wouldn’t expect.

6. If you decide to meet up to buy directly from the seller then make sure you are meeting up in a place on your own terms or in an open public place to avoid getting robbed. There have been past incidents where the seller met the buyer armed and robbed them of their money because where they stood was an enclosed area.

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