We’ve all been there.
While scouring the likes of Gumtree for the best deal on whatever it is you’re looking for, you find the perfect one. But after clicking through, things seem a bit off – you can just tell something isn’t right.
Is it the lack of pictures? The bad spelling? The need for cash right away?
Whatever it is, you click the little x and the search continues.
However, there are too many people that miss these early warning signs, and end up losing a decent amount of money.
Online trading sites like Gumtree have enabled millions of South Africans to make and save money but Claire Cobbledick, head of Core Business for Gumtree SA, warns that consumers always need to stay alert for scammers:
“The overwhelming majority of online transactions pass off safely, but as platforms sharpen their security and new players enter the market, new scams are created. Fortunately these are fairly easy to identify.”
Cobbledick was kind enough to highlight some of the current scam warning signs:
Just like in the real world, Cobbledick says vigilance is the most important defence against online scams:
“Keep a hawk eye out for suspect behaviours during your communication. If in doubt, then back out and report your suspicions to the site so we can follow up.”
Gumtree’s help desk – help.gumtree.co.za – operates 24/7, but if you have already been scammed, you need be a responsible citizen and report the fraudulent activity to SAPS.
And with that, I hope your deal-searching ways improve and you never fall for a scam ever again.
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