One of the things that many Nigerians fear most about online transactions is the fear of being defrauded.
To be frank, a lot of fraud happens online; and I have personally been scammed on more than a few occasions.
However, there are ways of checking out for scams and fraudulent schemes online.
In fact, they are relatively easy to detect, though some scams can be hidden within some very reputable platforms, but if you look closely enough you will see the scam there.
If you have been online for a while, you will discover for yourself that the online community is an environment filled with unscrupulous individuals eager to make away with your hard-earned money; most of them often hiding behind some fancy websites.
A lot of persons have been duped online; loads of money for that matter. I have also been duped. You can be duped, if you are not careful; but that should not prevent you from doing business online.
The fact that a bull could gore you to death doesn’t prevent humans from eating its flesh. So also, with online business.
With the incidence of fraud being prevalent online, and the fact that an Information Marketer must make purchases when he comes across products / services that meets his fancy, it becomes incumbent that you find a way to fishing out the scams from the genuine ones.
There are many websites from which you could find out some information about any site you want to do business with.
However, below I have listed some requirements you should look out for in a site before you make purchases from that site or do business with them.
- When was the site developed? If it was built just some days or weeks back, then be careful. You can find this out by visiting www.whois.com and typing in the website URL. Also bear in mind that there are some very reliable businesses just starting up so such websites could be new.
- Who owns the site and where was it registered? If it’s owned by any entity that has defrauded persons in time past, then it’s a red flag to stay clear.
- Compare the positive reviews with the negative reviews online. If there are loads of negative reviews with a handful of positive reviews, then you might consider it a red flag. You can check for reviews by typing the business name followed by reviews e.g. ALIEXPRESS REVIEWS
- Is there a money back guarantee? Absence of a money back guarantee could be a sign that the sellers are not confident of their products / services. This is however not always true as some persons abuse money back guarantee.
- Check for scam and complaints online by typing the business name followed by SCAM OR COMPLAINTS e.g. ALIEXPRESS SCAM or ALIEXPRESS COMPLAINTS. Too many complaints compared to satisfied customers means stay clear.
- Do they use several means of payment aside Western Union and MoneyGram? If they only use MoneyGram, Western Union or Bank Transfer, then it’s most probably a scam site.
- Do they have a reliable Contact Us page? If not, then they can’t be trusted and sure do have things to hide.
- They should have both a phone number and email address for contact purposes?
- Did they respond to your email or answer your calls?
- Do they have a Facebook Fan page that is active?
- Do they have SSL…..or the green bar that’s shows your information and credit card details are secure? If it’s an ecommerce site and they lack this, then you might want to be careful.
If there are more than 3 of the above found wanting with a site you want to do business with, then you might want to really stay away. The more the shortcomings, the riskier the site.
Aside the above, you could use the following means to check out if a site is safe to do business with.