2 new online scams you can find on Tonaton and Jiji
When it comes to online classified sites in Ghana, Tonaton and Jiji stand out as the two prominent ones. As with every good thing, there are always bad people looking to take advantage – fraudsters.
The two platforms – Tonaton and Jiji, are not new to fraudsters, and a lot of buyers have been on the lookout on signs to avoid these fraudsters. However, the fraudsters and con artists are getting smarter too.
In recent times, they have come up with new tricks and schemes which unsuspecting buyers might not know of.
Here at Mfidie.com, we have had reports about some of these schemes of the fraudsters. Some have used old methods to fraud people. However, there are some new trends we have noticed recently.
We have therefore decided to bring to you two of the new scams you can find on Tonaton and Jiji in Ghana.
Let’s get right into it.
VIP Parcel Fraud
This fraud is becoming very popular on the online classified sites Tonaton and Jiji. We even have the story of a reader who was scammed with this elaborate method.
This scam targets individuals who are interested in buying electronic gadgets, particularly laptops, chromebooks and sometimes gaming consoles like the Xbox and Playstation.
The fraudsters place multiple ads on either Tonaton or Jiji and make unsuspecting ads think that the price of a particular product is generally low on the market.
For example, one can see about 6 HP Envy, 8GB RAM i7, all selling between GHS 1200 and GHS 1500. Since there are multiple listings for the same kind of laptop, the unsuspecting buyer things these are real enough.
He then proceeds to contact the seller who says they will send the product via the VIP parcel service. The fraudsters would typically tell the buyer to only send the money after he (the fraudster) has processed the item at the VIP Parcel centre.
The fraudster then goes ahead to share fake images that they are at the VIP station and are about to send the non-existent goods. They even send an SMS, purporting to be coming from the VIP service that the parcel is being sent to the buyer and give a fake driver’s number. The driver is also part of the scam.
The fraudsters keep the fraud going even after the buyer has sent the money. After some hours, when the buyer goes to the VIP office to claim his goods, he will then realise he has been scammed.
I would advise that if you want to buy something from another region, get a friend or a trusted person to check the goods first and send it by himself/herself.
Fuel the Vehicle Scam
This scam is an example of “little drops of money make a mighty ocean”. Unlike the VIP Parcel service scam, the cash involved in this ranges from GHS 50 to GHS 500.
Fraudsters would put up nice photos of Cars on either Tonaton or Jiji at very competitive prices.
Once interested buyers contact them, they would say that they moved the vehicle outside the city they advertised that the vehicle is in. They would then tell the buyer they will be back in a month or 2 weeks at the least.
Buyers who are not patient will proceed to ask if the process of returning can be sped up. This is where the fraudster asks the buyer to send some money for fuel so that the car will be driven back to the city it was advertised in.
As expected, the fraud is in the money for the fuel. Once the fraudster receives the money for the fuel, they would just block the buyer while they wait for another unsuspecting buyer to contact them so they run the scam again.
Like always, never be too impatient for goods you are buying. It is always good to see the goods before you buy them especially on classifieds site. Most sellers who try to put psychological pressure on you will most likely try to scam you.
You should always be alert when you are buying online. We have guides on how to protect yourself online when buying from classified sites.
Are there any new scamming methods you have seen/experienced that you will want to share? Send us an email or drop a comment below.