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How to Avoid Online Sales Scams This Festive Season

Months ago, Lami wanted to purchase some clothes from her favourite Instagram vendor. She had had a good customer relationship with the vendor for a while and did not suspect anything when the vendor reached out to her on WhatsApp, explained she couldn’t send her a DM on Instagram, sent her the photos of the clothes she had indicated interest in in the comment section, and sent her an account number. It was after she paid it dawned on her: there was something wrong. After the delivery time elapsed and she didn’t get her order, she reached out to the vendor again on WhatsApp but she had been blocked. When she reached out to the vendor on Instagram, her fears were confirmed: she had been scammed.

Before, scammers would call you to pretend they are your long-lost cousin or uncle living abroad, or call to tell you about one imaginary job in Shell or Chevron. Today, scams are taking a new direction – some in the form of investment scams, online sales scams, corporate scams. There are many more companies promising investors a high percent ROI (Return on Investment) in very few months. Some as high as 50% ROI monthly. Many ‘founders’ have also been nabbed or called out on social media for absconding with people’s ‘investments’.  

There are also people on social media pretending to own businesses, and sell wares just to scam unsuspecting victims. Reaching out to customers via WhatsApp isn’t the only way people this is being done, many of them own social…

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