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How to protect yourself from online classifieds scammers

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Johannesburg - More people in South Africa and the rest of the continent are turning to online shopping as a means of buying goods and services.

Statistics released by the managing director of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, suggest that local e-commerce sales are set to top R9bn in 2016.

For the first time, this means online retail is expected to amount to 1% of total retail sales in South Africa.

This trend also mirrors growing e-commerce adoption in other African markets. According to a report released by report released by McKinsey & Company, e-commerce could account for 10% of retail sales in Africa’s largest economies by 2025

Amid this growing local e-commerce adoption, the chief executive officer of African online classifieds service, Cristobal Alonso, has advice for all African consumers who are buying goods online, especially from internet classifieds services. has four million registered users across countries such as Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Below are Alonso’s tips for Africa’s growing population of

online shoppers:

1. Keep things local. Meet the seller in person, check the item and make sure you are satisfied with it before you make a payment.

2. Do not pay in advance, not even for delivery. Buyers – don't make any payments before receiving an item. Sellers – don't send an item before receiving payment. Exchange item and payment at the same time.

3. Always meet in a safe, public location. Before meeting, try to collect as much information as possible about the individual you are going to meet.

4. Never give out financial information. This includes bank account details, eBay/PayPal information, and any other information that could be misused.

5. Buy and sell only on the most trusted marketplaces with robust security measures. Avoid those that have no content monitoring or clearly outlined security measures.

6. Use common sense. If the deal looks too good to be true – it is most likely a scam. Nobody sells new cars for half the price.

Category: Forex

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