I have heard different tales of people getting duped and the people at the receiving end the most have been the Buyers- many have taken to social media pages to lament their woes in the hands of Vendors that they trusted and the issue of trust became a big issue for the lot of us that would choose to remain honest vendors.
The damage that these scammers had been done seems almost irreparable; we had to struggle with keeping up with sales because Buyers no longer agree to make payments before we could process their orders. The few that would gladly preorder stopped doing so because they too wanted to be extra careful and not fall victims to fraudulent activities.
After carefully assessing the situation at hand and with the resolve to make sales in spite of all that was happening, I had to start trusting that Buyers would send money for purchases made the moment they got their orders, and truth be told, it worked a bit of magic because I started having more people reach out to place orders for my trendy wears and casuals for females. However, I had no idea that it wasn’t only the Buyers that were at the receiving end of online fraud, I was about to find out in a bitter way that Sellers like myself too could be scammed through fake bank alert.
It was on a rather slow business day that I got this DM from a customer making inquiries about Turkey wears that I had earlier put up on my Instagram page, she said that she loved them and would love to get 2 out of the designs that I had put up. I told her that she would have to make payment beforehand since I would be pre-ordering them from the company, she was skeptical and even told me stories about how she had been earlier duped.
A part of me wasn’t entirely convinced but this was going to be a good deal with a good margin for me as profit; I didn’t want to let go so, at the end of our chats, we had agreed that she was going to give me the money when I deliver – the address she gave me was somewhere I knew so we finalized that we would meet after 5 days when I expected to have gotten the dresses.
My supplier didn’t disappoint as I had sent the money for my orders after collating the requests that I had. The day came and we met at the agreed-upon location, she checked her dresses and couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved them, she then explained that she didn’t have up to the 25,000 that she was supposed to pay me for the dresses and delivery because she was coming from the salon and had spent more than she budgeted- that happens to everyone, right? So, I didn’t have any cause to not trust her.
In the end, she gave me the 7,000 naira that she had left on her and transferred 18,000 naira into my account- I got the alert almost immediately and we even made a joke about how surprised we were that the bank was pretty fast. I didn’t know that I had just been scammed and that what I had just received was a fake bank alert.
I got back home and was very happy that I had made good sales- I didn’t even notice that there was anything off about the alert I had gotten. It was later in the evening when I needed to make a transfer to another supplier that I saw that the ledger balance was not up to what should have been there. I checked the history again and saw that there was no record of the transfer that had been made in my bank history.
I still did not think that anything was amiss until the following day when I contacted my bank and was told that no cash was deposited into my account, I forwarded the alert I had got to them via email and that was when the truth was revealed- the alert was doctored, I had been sent a fake bank alert which I had no idea of.
I reached out to this lady but I’m certain that she knew what she had done so her line wasn’t available, I tried reaching her on IG but also found out that I had been blocked. It was then that it hit me that I had been duped of 18,000 naira, the profit I would have had on selling those dresses was not even more than 5,000 naira but here I was, getting duped of that amount.
I was heartbroken and told myself that it was the end to trusting anyone on money matters but the solution that I had always needed came in the form of Vesicash Escrow that I got introduced to by another Vendor. Thanks to Escrow payment solutions provided by Vesicash, there’s no question of doubt in my dealings with Buyers anymore, all I now do is to send them my Trizact payment link and explain that the money won’t come to me until they get their goods.