Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How To Avoid Being Scammed On OLX Kenya

OLX Kenya is one of the most successful online classifieds sites in Kenya and indeed Africa. However, as with any platform that is used widely, OLX has attracted scammers in their droves. Avoid being scammed/conned on OLX by following these Do's and Dont's of online transactions.


Tips For OLX Buyers

  • DO inspect the item thoroughly before you make a buying decision. 
  • DO NOT send or transfer money before you view the item and are completely satisfied.
  • DO NOT  carry cash when you meet the seller – even Mpesa isn't a safe option because you could be kidnapped and forced to transfer the money at gunpoint. View the item and then walk to a bank with seller, withdraw the cash in the presence of witnesses and load it to your Mpesa, do a sale agreement and then make payment via Mpesa.
  • DO NOT meet a Seller/buyer in an isolated place. Insist on a public place such as a mall with lots of people. 

Tips For OLX Sellers

  • DO NOT accept anything less than than the full amount before you hand over the item to the buyer.
  • DO NOT accept personal cheques.
  • DO NOT meet the buyer in an isolated place. 
  • DO NOT deal with any buyer who contacts you with a private number or a number that isn't verifiable. 
  • DO NOT send an item to an overseas buyer on the promise of future payment.

Signs That An Item Listed For Sale On OLX Could Be By A Scammer

  • If the deal is too good to be true, it often is. For example, if a popular car on the market is listed at a ridiculously low price, that could indicate potential fraud.
  • The seller has listed the same item multiple times with different titles and prices. 
  • The seller uses images that don't look genuine. For example, a vehicle image looks like it has been sourced from the Internet. You can use Google's reverse image lookup to find out if an image has been sourced from the Internet as explained below.

How To Do A Google Reverse Image Search For OLX Images


  1. Click on the OLX image and the image Window will pop-out. Right click within the image and click "Copy Image URL" as shown below.






  2. Next, open Google Image Search and click on the camera icon, "Search by image", as shown below.




  3. In the new window, paste the image link/URL from OLX in the "Paste image URL" tab as shown below and click "Search by image". 




  4. If the image has been sourced from the Internet, you will get a hit as my test results below indicate. This is a fairly good indicator that the seller in my example isn't genuine. 




Why doesn't the seller take his own photos? For for thought.
Stay safe shopping on OLX!

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