Social media shopping is becoming increasingly popular. Instagram and Twitter have surpassed e-commerce platforms such as Jumia and Konga as the new hotspots. Vendors on social media sell everything from beauty products to thrift clothing, furniture, hangout experiences, and much more.
However, the total value of identified scam cases tracked on Instagram by Nigerian buyers last year was N273,235,485. Unsatisfied transactions involving “what I ordered vs. what I got” totaled N84,399,140.
While the majority of Instagram vendors are honest and trustworthy, a few unscrupulous individuals have decided to take advantage of people’s trust and engage in illegal fraudulent transactions. Here are 5 ways to avoid being taken advantage of by Instagram vendors.
1. Determine how old the account is:
Check the date of the first post. Most scammers lack the patience to build an account over time for the purpose of scamming. The disadvantage of this is that legitimate businesses that are just getting started may also be suspect. Check out the other tips below to confirm.
2. Review the comments on posts:
Seeing several posts with no inquiry comments is a major red flag. This denotes a lack of activity. An active vendor will interact with potential buyers in the comment section. The comments also confirm activity. They could be inquiries about delayed deliveries, price requests, or general negotiations. Illicit vendors delete comments from people they’ve previously scammed.
3. Look for customer feedback:
Legitimate vendors will include feedback from previous customers. If there are no reviews, you should proceed with caution. Be wary of fake vendors who create reviews. Don’t buy from them if anything seems off.
4. Reach out to the page’s followers:
Take some time to message some of the account’s followers and ask if they’ve done business with the vendor. This is not ideal because most accounts have followers who have not yet purchased from them. However, you may learn something when you receive responses from these followers.
5. Make use of an escrow service like Paystack or Flutterwave:
Escrow services allow you to pay for a product while holding your funds until you receive your order. If you do not receive your order, your money will be refunded. Escrow services give the vendor confidence that you’ve made the payment, but they also protect you as the customer from scams. They either release funds to the vendor or refund you if your order was not fulfilled within 12 hours.
Source: Nairaland /parmzhelp