Catch the sharks in classifieds

The internet has opened up a world of opportunities to organise and operate your life from the comfort of a laptop connection. Never before has applying for a job, securing services or purchasing goods been so easy – thanks to the introduction of online classifieds.

Dealfish constantly monitors adverts placed on its site, but advises users to be alert:

  • Meet in person in a public place to see or show the product before exchanging money.
  • Never send or transfer money to sellers or buyers. Dealfish does not offer any sort of buyer protection program or secure payment system, so never provide your personal or banking information over the internet, or directly to the buyer/seller.
  • Notify Dealfish of any attempted fraud or suspicious e-mails or adverts.
  • Use your common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
    • You receive an unsolicited e-mail offering to buy your item without seeing it beforehand.
    • The money is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or just about anything else
    • The seller claims that confirmation code is needed before he can withdraw your money. This false. Once you’ve sent money, it is gone.
    • Suspicious offers often come from Nigeria, Cameroon and Zimbabwe, but could come from anywhere.
    • The cheque is probably fake.
    • Sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise.
    • The scammer asks for your name and address for printing on the fake cheque.
    • Most online escrow sites are fraudulent and operated by scammers.
    • Scammer says they trust you with a partial payment.
    • Scammer may say they have already posted or shipped the goods and will give you a tracking number. This is a lie.

SOUND THE ALARM WHEN: A distant buyer offers a high monetary offer in exchange for your item: A distant seller requests payment via Paypal: A seller offers to send you a cashier’s cheque and then asks you to wire money: A distant seller suggests use of an online escrow service: A distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which they will ship goods: Phishing: these scams have extended to instant messaging services, including Skype. The reality is that fraud is everywhere, but *Dealfish strives to offer users the best possible experience. Just be diligent and be aware, and you’ll be an expert trader in no time. * Dealfish is now known as OLX