“ Oga who you transfer to “
That was the voice of Austin, the dispatch rider that left for Lekki Peninsula about an hour ago from Ikeja Computer village to deliver a brand-new Apple iPhone.
Okay let us pause there for a moment, what’s going on here, I think the customer is confused.
At exactly 12 noon on a sunny Monday, an unknown customer chatted us through our business WhatsApp asking for the price of Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max brand new, and as usual, an online sales representative gave the price and interestingly the individual did not negotiate and even asked for the prices of some accessories which he requested be added to his order.
The order was passed to the logistics team and was soon ready for dispatch because the customer requested express delivery and will only pay until he receives the package, which is not much of an issue for us as long as the individual was a serious buyer.
The rider arrived at the store, and he was given the phone number, address of the customer and account details, then he called the customer to inform the customer that he was on his way.
The rider had just descended the Third Mainland Bridge when the customer called that he had an emergency and that his brother will receive the order on his behalf, confirm it and payment will be made. Then after 20 Minutes, the rider gets to the address, calls the customer again, and he said “give me a moment to call my brother “then after a minute, a young guy in his early 20s came out of a black gate, greeted the rider and asked for the package, opened the bag, saw the content and nodded his head with a thick smile.
He quickly reached for his phone to do a transfer, so the rider tried to show him the account details on his phone, but he responded that he already got the details from the store through WhatsApp, and soon the transfer was made, the rider called the Store to confirm payment, and the response was negative.
FEW MINUTES LATER
The rider called the store again, still negative!
Then he asked the guy “ Oga who you transfer to? “
They quickly compared account details
AND IT WAS THAT POINT THE CUSTOMER KNEW HE HAD F……
Your guess is as good as mine.
THE MIDDLEMAN – This is one random guy/lady that seats somewhere in any part of the country with series of unregistered sim cards presenting himself/herself on the internet as a Potential Buyer and a Seller.
So these persons open replicas or fake social media pages of existing business on Facebook, Instagram and Google, take their content and repost them for very low prices. Some of these pages have huge existing followers just to make their potential victims have some level of confidence in them.
The Middleman is referred as so because its operation can only succeed with the unknowing participation of a real SELLER and a BUYER, but series of middleman scams have proven that the major enablers are the GREEDY BUYERS.
THE BUYER, otherwise known as the GREEDY or FOOLISH buyer – This is a guy/lady that ignores different products within his/her budget only to opt for a higher version posted at a ridiculously low amount.
There is a Yoruba Adage that speaks of a person looking for Free/Enticing things and that he will eventually get nothing and still loose in the same vein.
The victim in the story you read was told to pay N400, 000 for a phone of N600, 000 and he was eager to clinch the deal so he can go pepper his friends.
No one prays to loose theirs hard earned money, no matter how small it is, but it is important that customers know that when trying to purchase any item online, not buying from a reputable store is a BIG RISK.
The MIDDLEMAN scam has become a recurring decimal and a very big concern to us as legitimate business owners in Ikeja computer village and so here we decide to write this informative piece to educate potential buyers on how to decipher between online scammers and legitimate business owners.
Check boxes you must tick.
- Double Check the business name for possible replicas especially on Instagram and Facebook. Pay attention to the spellings of the handles.
- Compare Prices across board, and be weary of ridiculously low prices.
- Chat or call the customer support preferably during business hours.
- Do NOT send money into an individual account or a Wallet Account with any Fintech even if the name looks like it.
- Confirm that business or company name exist on Corporate Affairs Commission and same with the bank account name.
- For Payment on Delivery, ONLY pay to account details given to you by the Delivery person.
- If you still feel uncomfortable, visit the physical location.
We shall stop here for now and update the check boxes as we deem fit.