Following recent isolated reports on transactions that have gone wrong, Tonaton.com, Ghana’s Largest Marketplace has advised online traders in Ghana to read more about safety before undertaking the actual buying transaction offline. This was in reaction to a story that received a lot of publicity across media in the last week of September 2014.
The management of the top online classifieds website was in support of the naming and shaming of the suspect who committed such a fraudulent act on a genuine interested buyer. They believe this will serve as a warning to others. The website has been collaborating with the security agencies and revealed that two suspected fraudsters were caught last week. The case is still under investigation by the police.
The growing internet penetration has opened up the country to new online trading platforms, which has empowered the average Ghanaian when it comes to buying or selling a car, a smartphone, a pet or renting an apartment. Unfortunately some unscrupulous individuals are using this avenue to dupe people who are looking for good deals online.
Kwabena Opoku-Boakye, Marketing Manager for Tonaton.com maintains that even though the actual transaction takes place offline, users should take some time to read the safety guidelines which are posted on the website. “Like any discipline, users need to educate themselves on how to stay safe whilst undertaking any form of transactions online. We have a Help and Support section on our website where users are encouraged to read to acquaint themselves with the Do’s and Don’ts”, he says. He went on to give a few tips on general safety which includes the following:
- Keep things local. Meet the seller in person, check the item and make sure you are satisfied with it before you make a payment.
- Exchange item and payment at the same time. Buyers – don’t make any payments before receiving an item. Sellers – don’t send an item before receiving payment.
- Use common sense. Avoid anything that appears too good to be true, such as unrealistically low prices and promises of quick money.
- Never give out financial information. This includes bank account details, information and any other information that could be misused.
- Report any suspected fraudulent item or transaction to Tonaton.com. Customers who suspect an item has been posted by a potential fraudster are encouraged to report this to us on 0302 746 911 or [email protected]. We will liaise with the security agencies to track down the suspect.
Commenting on the seriousness Tonaton.com attaches to fighting scammers, Estelle Westling, Head of Site says “Our commitment to creating a safe marketplace is total. We have over a dozen employees in our customer support team that manually reviews all ads before they are published. These reviews are done based on parameters such as pricing of the item, location of the item, which must of course be in Ghana, the category and the descriptions given. Furthermore we have implemented a special fraud team that reviews escalated suspected ads and take care of customers’ fraud related complaints ”. Explaining further, she posited that “Since we cannot really know the intention of the seller or a prospective buyer, we are urging all online traders to be take note of the safety messages that we have on our website. Please take note of our Customer Support number and report any suspected fraudulent ad, so we can continue working towards a safe online marketplace”, she concludes.