As a multiple member of farming groups it is always sad to see people getting scammed on social media or fake websites. This is real and happens almost on a daily basis. How Farmers should Protect themselves Online from Scammers in South Africa
Buyers and Sellers you need to be protected.
As a buyer you do not want to give your money to a stranger without meeting them or proof that they do have a verified business. Sometimes this is not possible as you live in different provinces or states.
Sellers do not want to manufacture your order or provide a time consuming service without having a deposit which make absolutely sense if there are costs involved on the seller side to produce your orders.
Understandably this creates a trust issue for both buyers and sellers as authentic sellers will withdraw from a sale out of frustration that buyers don’t trust them and visa versa.
Procedures to take when buying from an online seller.
- Ask for references – Get as many references you possibly can and contact them. Google the companies that the references represent to see if they are authentic
- Ask the seller for an address. Once you have the address google it on maps and confirm that the business location exist.
- Contact business around the address location that you found on Google Maps to confirm that the business exist.
- You can even contact a police station closest to the address given and confirm with them that the business of farm exist.
- Inform the seller that you did a check and what protocol you followed. If he/she are scammers they will get cold feet.
- Finally if you have to pay a deposit offer the seller a smaller deposit than what was asked for. This will show that you are a serious buyer but also lower the risk if you are being scammed.
- If you downloaded the Facebook App or use Facebook online, search for reviews on the sellers and products
Scamchecker.com is an app you can download free or you can go directly to their website to see the authenticity of the sellers website and check for scams. Click here to visit https://www.scamadviser.com/
Things to watch out for
- Messages or posts with poor spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- People asking you for money who you don’t know in person.
- Anyone asking you to pay a fee in order to apply for a job.
- Pages representing large companies, organizations or public figures that are not verified.
- People asking you to move your conversation off Facebook to a less public or less secure setting, such as a separate email.
- People claiming to be a friend or relative in an emergency.
- People who misrepresent where they are located. If someone signs up for Messenger using their mobile phone number, you may be able to check which country their phone number is from. If you’re concerned that a Page may be scamming you, you can check the Page’s location.
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