Safety Tips When Selling or Buying Online

Advertising items for sale on Jaraja Online Marketplace is a great way to create visibility for your products and services and connect with potential buyers both locally and internationally. But there are risks you take when you do so. Risk is deviation from expectation, hence, Jaraja encourages you to use your experience and common sense to evaluate the situation and the person with whom you are dealing.

Kindly follow these safety tips when buying and selling on Jaraja marketplace.


  • First and foremost, be a trustworthy user. As a seller (or registered buyer) on our site, you’ll receive a rating. Maintain high standards so that your counterparty can give you a favourable rating or feedback.
  • Buyers/Sellers have the option to contact each other by email or phone. Keep your conversation strictly professional. If you become too talkative, you may unintentionally divulge unnecessary information about yourself.
  • Personal Information

  • Do not put any sensitive personal information (e.g. banking details, Credit/Debit Card numbers, PIN number, Passwords etc.) in your adverts. Keep in mind that every piece of information you post may be used for other purposes than you intended. Limit your information to what is strictly necessary and requested on the sign-up form (application form).
  • Jaraja will never initiate a request for sensitive information from you via email or SMS. We strongly suggest that you do not share any of your personal information with anyone.
  • Get to Know the Buyer/Seller

  • It’s important you get to know the buyer/seller with whom you are dealing. Users (buyer/seller) should always encourage their counterparty to leave feedback about a concluded transaction. Feedback can be positive, negative or neutral. Accumulating lots of positive rating/feedback testifies to a user’s integrity and character. Take the time to look at a user feedback ratings, score and comments first to get an idea of their reputation within the Jaraja marketplace.
  • You may also get to know the user (either an individual or a business) you are dealing with better by researching their cyber footprint. Carry out a quick Google search of the name of the other party. Just type their name in the Google search bar and see what comes up either on facebook, linkedin or other social media platforms. This may help you make up your mind about the personality and reputation of the buyer or seller. For example be wary of a user with newly created facebook page with only one photo and no friends or relatives.
  • When you are comfortable with the level of information gathered above so far, you may want to talk to the other party on phone. In your conversation, ask questions about the items you are proposing to buy, ask about the user’s trade association, the supplier's business licenses, if it’s a manufactured product, ask about the regulatory certification (e.g. NEPC, NAFDAC, SON, MAN) etc.
  • Suspicious, Too Good To Be True Deals - Use Common Sense

  • Your intuition is your best weapon against getting defrauded online. Use common sense. Avoid anything that appears too good to be true, such as unrealistically low prices and promises of quick money. If it looks too good to be true, then it is not true. Adverts with very ridiculous prices, have fraudsters behind them. Be wary of interested buyer who does not negotiate, does not ask for details but is making mouthwatering offers – these are serious signals of scammer.
  • Do not rush into selling/buying because you're afraid of losing the opportunity. Be patient. Being impatient may get you into trouble. If seller or buyer is pushing you to close a deal (transfer money, send item) as soon as possible – be cautious. That’s a common strategy of fraudsters. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed, take your time to evaluate your actions.
  • If in doubt, seek the opinion of a knowledgeable person to assist in assess the quality of the product and/or transaction process. Knowledge is power and the application of it empowers you to detect fraudulent people and adverts. So, stay safe, involve a third-party who has an understanding of the product or service.
  • Trust but verify, carry out sufficient due diligence. If anything feels “off” or “suspicious” stop contact.
  • Arranging Meetings

  • If the transaction proceed smoothly to the point where it became necessary to meet, ensure you make arrangements to meet in an open and public place. Agree to meet during daylight hours and arrange to have witnesses to the transaction on both sides (i.e. seller and buyer should come with their respective witnesses). Turn down requests to meet in an unfamiliar place, or alone.
  • At the meeting, you may want to exchange proof of identity such as a driver’s license, National Id etc. (That way you know whom you’re dealing with if there’s is a problem.) you may want to note the license plate number, color, and model of the other person’s vehicle so you have it in the event there is trouble.
  • Making Payments

  • For the safety of both parties, you may choose not to carry large sums of cash on your person during the meeting. If the inspection and negotiations went well, both parties may make appropriate arrangement for the exchange of funds and goods.
  • Whatever the means of exchange agreed upon, be wary of buyers who claim they’ve made payment or transfers and yet the money is not reflected in your account. Do not fully trust text message/alerts of deposit received on your phone. Ensure you confirm your account balance by either checking for yourselves or calling your account officer. You can only be sure that money is in your account when you SEE them in your account.
  • Only pay for the goods you have seen and verified that it is of the quality you want. Making full payment upfront is very risky. Be wary of anyone urging you to make payment in advance for any reason (Facilitation Fee, Customs Fee, Warehouse Fee, Clearance Fee, even recharge card for phone). These are signs of Advance fee fraud (419).
  • International Trade (Exports)

  • When selling to or buying from someone outside your country, always ensure:
  • You carry out proper due diligence this include but are not limited to:
  • Asking for and verifying a company’s contact details and address;
  • Asking for and verifying a company’s legal registration number
  • Asking for and verifying supplier’s past customer references (in your country or other countries) who have purchased from them within the last 12 months;
  • Asking for and verifying Government Agencies who can vouch for a supplier (e.g. Chambers of Commerce, Export Licensing authorities, EXIM Banks etc.)
  • Follow all applicable rules guiding international trade;
  • If you are new to export trade enlist the services of an experienced export agent/expert;
  • Enlist the services of International Inspection and Certification Agencies such as Cotecna; and
  • Use secure means of payment, preferably L/C.

  • Safety Tips Regarding Computer Systems, Internet Connection, Virus Prevention, Account Information and Passwords

    Computer Systems

  • Use only a secure computer to create your account. Never use computers in a cyber café or other public place. Fraudsters and Scammers may be able to hack into public computer to fish-out information.
  • Internet Connection

  • Don’t access your account over public or free Wi-Fi. Don’t shop on borrowed equipment. Don’t log on to a hotel or airport computer to buy anything. Public computers often have out-of-date security software, and it's far too easy to leave behind your passwords and financial data in a browser's memory file, called the cache memory.
  • Computer Virus and Hackers

  • Some computer viruses steal your password and financial account information by recording your keystrokes. For this reason, it is recommended that you install anti-virus software and update it on a regular basis. Use the virus protection software to scan your computer frequently.
  • A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized parties (usually referred to as "hackers") from gaining access to sensitive information stored on your computer. Firewalls can be installed as either hardware and software or both.
  • Account Information and Passwords

  • Care for your password as you would care for the keys to your house. If your password falls into the wrong hands, your identity may be stolen and someone else may access your account.
  • Therefore, do not choose a simple password such as using your birthday or name. Create a more secure password by using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Change your password often and don't share your password with anyone.
  • Practice Extra Vigilance

  • Do not click on any links or URLs in any email if you suspect the mail was sent from a party pretending to be Avoid completing forms in email messages that ask for your personal information. Make sure you are using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information through your browser.
  • Lastly, Report an advert or seek clarification from Jaraja when in doubt
  • If a seller or buyer is making requests that are suspicious or their adverts come off as suspicious to you, report the ads and seek clarification on these suspicious requests. This way, you will be avoiding a scam.
  • Feel free to share with us in the comment section anything we might have missed or overlooked so that together, we will ensure a safe and secure online marketplace for every one!


Copyright 2017 © All rights reserved.