Most Internet users use the web as a means to trade. But, with the ever presence of cybercrime, it is becoming more and more difficult to do so safely. CLAIRE COBBLEDICK of Gumtree SA, provides six basic steps to follow to ensure a trade goes smoothly online.
More and more South Africans want to trade goods online but fraud in the digital space is an increasing concern.
Head of Marketing for Gumtree SA Claire Cobbledick says that scammers are becoming more creative; “they’re generating fake proof of payments and sending SMS notifications to inform you that funds have been paid into your account to gain release of the items before you realise that no actual funds were transferred”.
Cobbledick continues that the true perspective is that an overwhelming majority of the hundreds of thousands of transactions every year on Gumtree are concluded safely and satisfactorily but that everyone can trade more securely if they follow six basic steps.
- Use the Message Centre on the free Gumtree app which enables you to connect with potential buyers via direct messaging – this also allows Gumtree to track scammers and retrieve their contact details.
- If the seller or buyer is pressuring you, be suspicious – insist on doing your due diligence even at the risk of losing the deal.
- Never release your banking details to strangers – when paying ensure that you’re using a secure connection with a padlock setting in your browser.
- Once a price has been agreed upon, do not release items until money is actually cleared into your account by your bank and not just by text alert.
- Gumtree never requires payment as part of any transaction – if any such payment is mentioned then the deal is potentially a scam.
In response to this ongoing problem and in an effort to protect Gumtree.co.za users, the online classified site has partnered with Shepherd, a third party escrow service which is supported by Standard Bank, to reduce the risk of fraud for both buyer and seller.
Cobbledick describes the mechanism as simple; “once a price has been agreed, Shepherd, for a small fee, collects the item from the seller, delivers it to the buyer and, if all is in order, releases the buyer’s money to the seller”.
Shepherd is the safer option – get in touch with the escrow service directly or with Gumtree’s Customer Service to assist. Never pay money into an account until you are certain of the validity thereof.
Gumtree relies heavily on their community to help reduce fraud and report questionable integrity. The online classified site has a large and experienced team who can be contacted directly via their helpdesk, help.gumtree.co.za, to answer questions if users are sceptical.
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.
Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com
This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.
Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.
What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.
However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.
As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.
It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.
The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.
To enter the competition follow the steps below:
Competition entry details:
3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.
4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.
5. The competition is only open to South African residents.