With Africa experiencing an e-Commerce revolution, more and more African consumers are looking for ways to protect themselves against scammers. According to Cristobal Alonso, CEO of MOBOfree.com  “African consumers need to adopt some key habits in order to avoid fraudsters.”

Tips on how to shop safely on an online social marketplace:

1.Keep things local. Meet the seller in person, check the item and make sure you are satisfied with it before you make a payment.

2.Do not pay in advance, not even for delivery. Buyers – don’t make any payments before receiving an item. Sellers – don’t send an item before receiving payment. Exchange item and payment at the same time.

3.Always meet in a safe, public location. Before meeting, try to collect as much information as possible about the individual you are going to meet.

4.Never give out financial information. This includes bank account details, eBay/PayPal information, and any other information that could be misused.

5.Buy and sell only on the most trusted marketplaces with robust security measures. Avoid those that have no content monitoring or clearly outlined security measures.

6.Use common sense. If the deal looks too good to be true – it is most likely a scam. Nobody sells new cars for half the price or new iPhones for 200 Nairas.

Most of the local classified players have the standard safety measures in place: the possibility to report a scam or rate a user; safety tips visible for all visitors, etc. But reality shows that such measures are far from enough.