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DCI warn public over online shopping scams

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has advised Kenyans to be on the lookout for well-crafted fraudulent shopping scams as the festive season approaches.

With the beginning of the festive season, organizations are gearing up for sales and discount offers to customers on their e-commerce platforms.

This, more home-bound consumers are now shopping and making online payments, a move that has convinced the online attackers to target these clients.

DCI boss George Kinoti also expressed concern over the skyrocketing fraud cases online, cautioning Kenyans to be extra vigilant while engaging in digital transactions.

Kenyans have fallen prey to these scammers leaving them counting losses even as detectives seek to bring them to book.

“As we approach the festive season, members of the public are advised to be careful when shopping for goods online,” said the DCI in a statement.

While issuing a warning on the fraud scheme, the DCI said that scammers have devised new ways through social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to target gullible Kenyans.

“We have received numerous reports from clients who ordered for goods advertised on social networking sites especially on Instagram, but the goods were either not delivered or the quality not similar to what was advertised,” the statement added.

“We, therefore, advise the public to take precaution while engaging in online business dealings, to avoid falling prey to online scammers and fraudsters,” the DCI cautioned.

Shoppers have been advised to only deal with trusted and verified online vendors as there is a growing trend where fraudsters mimic websites and social media pages belonging to established sellers.

“Equally, be careful when dealing with doorstep deliveries and who you choose to make deliveries to your house. As a safety precaution, turn down deliveries from agents who show up at your door without your request, as they may have an ulterior motive,” DCI added.

The DCI noted that many Kenyans especially ladies shopping for trendy outfits and jewelry have fallen victim and lost their money through such frauds.

“You are advised to be careful when making purchases online, by first ascertaining.”

Though scams with fake deals and discounts remain the most common attack vector, criminals are increasingly targeting buyers after they have made their purchase and are waiting for the shipment to arrive.