Friday 27th November 2015. An ordinary day for the majority of Kenyans, but for some, it was Black Friday, a day known for insane deals and crazy discounts businesses offer to customers in the US and Canada.In the true spirit of fitting in, a few Kenyans online joined the craze about Black Friday, and a few Kenyan businesses also added to the excitement with a few deals of their own. The atmosphere was mildly electric, until Jumia, major online retail shop dealing electronics, appliances, fashion, kid’s stuff et cetera, joined the crazy. Jumia announced flash sales starting midnight on the 27th, featuring discounts of up to 90% and massive price cuts on electronics and appliances. Kenyans hungry for deals trundled to Jumia, but Jumia would have the last laugh; more of an evil grin laced with malice and greed as Kenyans were left holding empty virtual shopping carts, which Jumia had unceremoniously emptied. Black Friday was one big scam. We thought we’d tell you, our dear readers, the methods of online fraudsters, and how you can avoid them.
#5. Online Shopping Scams
We told you how Kenyans are slowly joining the online shopping bandwagon. While Kenyan online retailers have adopted the marketing flair of global multinational retailers, none have been able to replicate their insight, efficiency or resourcefulness. eBay, for instance, will offer same-day or overnight delivery while Amazon will even use drones to deliver goods to their customers. None of this can be said of any Kenyan retailer. Either a retailer will directly steal from you, or there’ll be loopholes someone is always eager to use to skim your money.
The trick with online shopping is to avoid it. But if pressed by necessity, always judge your seller by reputation, not by the juicy offers. Understand the terms of the sale; because scammers out there are counting on your ignorance and confusion. Don’t rush over any detail; the price, the means of payment, the delivery time and means, and upon the delivery, the quality of the goods.
Take Jumia for instance, other than the aforementioned Black Friday shenanigans, there have been multiple reports of faulty gadgets, careless packaging and if any of the reports are to be trusted, their customer care is very stubborn and no follow-up on customer satisfaction is done. Another culprit is OLX, their fault being that they abandon all the risk on you, the customer. There have been reports of money fraud, conmen, faulty or non-existent goods or even robberies during the physical exchange. I avoid online shopping as a general principle. And honestly I’d advise against it, few Kenyan retailers are completely credible, so, overlook the juicy offers and look at the reputation of the sellers.
#4. Money-making schemes
The least lucrative job among the Kenyan youth, tarmacking, has two shortcomings, namely, it sucks and it does not pay. At that moment of vulnerability, it easy to be enticed by the colourful money-making schemes that litter the internet. They convince you to make thousands of dollars while working from home, and to reinforce the tale there is a section the website with personal testimonies of how users climbed out of the pit of poverty into the glorious candy mountain of wealth.
These schemes take many forms. In one, you are required to crisscross the entire expanse of the internet referring people to the site. In others, you spend eternities clicking on ads for 1/1000th fraction of a dollar. Or you promote goods you have no idea what they are and what they do. What of the numerous surveys and research questionnaires that always flash pleadingly to be answered. My verdict on these money making schemes; they are all scams. Either they will promise you riches and not give you, or outright steal it from you. Avoid them. The rules never change, if you want money, you’ve got to work for it.