Follow these 5 steps and you will avoid being scammed online 99% of the times
- Make every effort to setup a face to face meeting with the buyer/seller and meet them personally. In addition, carry out detailed background checks on every new buyer or seller you meet online. This can be done by making use of third party agencies such as DnB or even the embassy of the country the party belongs to.
- Try to avoid making any kind of advance payment to someone with whom you have never done business before.
- In international trade, to avoid falling victim to non-delivery or other performance related scams, make use of LC (letter of credit) as the payment method. This provides protection to both parties and shifts the liability to the issuing bank. Don’t try to save a few hundred dollars in transactions that are worth several thousands of dollars.
- If a seller offers you a price thats so cheap that its unreal, don’t fall for it. This will surely mean that the seller is trying to lure you into a scam. Run in the opposite direction and report the seller.
- One of the ways for you to determine if a buyer/seller is real is to ask them for references and then speak to the references to ensure everything is fine. Additionally, there is nothing wrong in asking them to provide you with records for past performance where they have actually imported/exported a product from a party outside their country.
Always follow these best practices to protect your interests whenever trading with counter-parties you’ve met online.