Online Shopping has tremendously grown in Kenya. And with such a surge, comes an equal share of risks. Stories have been told of how people lost thousands of hard earned cash to fraudsters posing as potential suppliers or customers. The Exchange has compiled a list of tips to shop online safely.
Avoid dishing out too much information: Never disclose too much information for instance your residence. This exposes you to potential attacks from thugs or swindlers waiting to pounce on innocent unsuspecting individuals. So if you are asked to give out information like your bank account details, Driver’s license numbers, your pin number, these are red flags, run.
Don’t just shop from any site online: Shop from Online traders with a reputation like Amazon, Jumia, Kaymu, PigiaMe and Alibaba among others. This way you are less likely to fall into a trap.
If it is too good to be true, it probably is: Beware of offers that look too good. It could be a trap. If you have to buy that item, compare prices with other merchants and counter-check the requirements of the offers. If they ask for any facilitation fee before the product is delivered, run!
Beef up security on your credit and debit cards: Use the best malware there is to keep off the bugs that camp in your computer or phone to siphon information from your accounts. Protect your account details to remain safe even when paying for items online.
New trend of Mobile Money fraud: There is a new trend in Kenya where someone calls you up after you have, say posted your number on Facebook when buying or selling an item. They call you and pose as your mobile service provider’s staff and inform you that your number has been registered twice. They then go on to tell you how you should give up your date of birth, ID number and your last top up in order for them to fix the issue. This is the information that will be used to change your pin and they will go ahead and withdraw all what you have from your account. Never entertain such calls.
Avoid clicking on links you are unsure of: sometimes you may receive a link with an alarming title. Do not click on it. You may be installing malware into your devices unknowingly.
Do a fact check on your seller: You may sometime find someone selling an item on social media that you are interested in. Before you go ahead and contact the person, first check if the person has been listed in any platform as a fraudster. In Kenya, there is a group called Buyer Beware, and if your potential client has a history of conning, then you will find their details therein.
Report to the authorities when you lose your documents: Finally, when you lose your identification documents, it is important to always report that matter to the authorities. These items may be discovered in a robbery and you will be charged for a crime you have not committed. Always report and obtain police abstracts when you lose your documents.