Be extremely cautious when shopping online

2017-04-12 06:01

THE public is warned that fraud is rampant in the online classifieds marketplace. Magistrates are inundated with warrants to sign daily interms of section 205 of the criminal procedure act 51 of 1977 to obtain information from banks.

Some of the online classifieds fraud cases in the Amanzimtoti Magistrate’s district included a person paying R2 000 for a dog, R14 000 for flat rental, a R35 000 deposit on a R75 000 taxi and R1 800 for a golf cart on the online classifieds marketplace with shoppers never receiving the said goods. A residential house in Amanzimtoti was also fraudulently advertised as a holiday rental place, and R60 000 was paid towards it.

Shoppers are encouraged to read the safety precautions before entering into buying and selling online.

Safety tips published by local classifieds, Gumtree states: “If someone is breaking our rules and a customer reports them, we can block them and delete their ad. If it’s a very serious issue, we encourage customers to call the police. We work closely with the police and Get Safe Online to protect customers, and improve how we tell people when there’s a problem.”

Risks associated with online shopping includes:

• Receiving goods which do not match the advertiser’s description.

• Not receiving goods which you have paid for.

· Not receiving payment for goods which you have dispatched.

Having your personal or financial information stolen and used fraudulently.

• Phishing emails, appearing to be from an auction or online payment sites, but actually from criminals trying to lure you to a fake website to get your personal information such as login details for your online payment account.


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