Scam to Avoid
We understand that online transactions can be simple and convenient, but please remember that face to face transactions are the best way to minimise the risk of fraudulent activity.
While the vast majority of experiences on UmojaAA are successful and hassle-free, we always recommend our users to follow these simple steps to ensure they get the best out of their use of UmojaAA:
- Never send money to anyone you don’t know
- If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true
- Always use common sense
Here are some common scams to look out for:
Brand name spoofing / phishing
You get an email/SMS that claims to be from UmojaAA, eBay, Western Union, or another company and offers buyer protection or an online payment system or perhaps a cash prize. These emails will typically request that you send money or provide personal information. Any emails which combine a sense of urgency with some need for personal details should be treated with caution, no matter whom they purport to be from. UmojaAA and most other companies will never send out such emails.
Phishing attempts can also come in the form of emails/SMS messages telling you that your UmojaAA account has been disabled, suspended, locked, or something similar and you are asked to click on a link. please be aware that this is not coming from UmojaAA. While the link to the phishing website may look like it’s coming from a legitimate company, these are in fact fake sites designed by scammers to acquire sensitive information such as passwords and credit card details.
Certain kinds of Spoof emails/SMS can also spread spyware or viruses. These emails have the potential to infect your computer and then to spread the spyware/virus further by access and sending the email to your contacts. If you receive an email in response to your Ad that includes a link and a suspicious looking comment attached, please do not click on the link.
What do these emails / SMS look like?
In order to avoid fraud attempts and confirm your identity, please forward us the following details:
JUST CLICK HERE: http://www.link to fake site
Please complete the form immediately. If not, your account will be erased based on fraud motivation. Thank you!
UmojaAA Secure Department’
‘Dear UmojaAA User,
Thanks for your Ad however we’re afraid that your Ad has been removed because it was flagged as fraud. We need you to confirm your identity. Please follow this link:
“fake link to” Confirm Account Identity
For more information, please review our posting policies. Any future Ads will also be removed until your account will be verified.
Please note that UmojaAA does not offer a phone or voicemail service when replying to Ads. If you include a phone number in your Ad, buyers can respond to you directly and any voice message you receive from them will be a normal voice message.
What do I do if I receive a suspicious message like this?
You should forward suspicious emails which you don’t think are from UmojaAA to email@example.com so we can investigate and de-activate any fake site links. This is an automated system that only processes information found in these types of email messages, so if you have any questions or concerns please instead write to us here.
An SMS message from a potential buyer asking you to respond by email is most likely a scam. Legitimate buyers and sellers are unlikely to want to be emailed if they are already texting you.
These scammers will try to get you to ship your item after sending you a fake payment. They may also ask you to send them money because they made a fake overpayment. Please ignore SMS messages asking you to email back.
What do these SMS messages look like?
‘Hello friend, I saw your listing on Gumtree and can you let me know if still on sale… firstname.lastname@example.org’
‘Hello, I saw your ad on UmojaAA. I’m ready to offer you 20,000USD for the vehicle. For quick response, email me at: email@example.com Smith’
What do I do if I receive an SMS message that asks me to email someone?
We recommend ignoring SMS messages asking you to email back. If you have received a fake PayPal invoice, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an automated system that only processes information found in these types of email messages, so if you have any questions or concerns please instead write to us here.
We always advise users to transact in person with cash or through the PayPal app in person when buying or selling an item on UmojaAA. Please keep this in mind to avoid the types of scams listed in below:
Scheduled Payment receipts for bank transfers
A scheduled payment receipt is not a confirmation of money transfer, but a notification of a payment scheduled to be made in the future. This can easily be cancelled by the buyer after goods are exchanged.
Please keep in mind that although it’s more difficult, it is also possible to recall an online transfer that has been sent. For this reason, we encourage face to face transactions with cash or PayPal through the UmojaAA app.
Oops, I paid you too much! Cheque overpayment
A buyer or seller or prospective tenant will send you a cheque worth more than the value of the items/ rent and then ask for the surplus money to be returned to them or a third party, for example ‘to pay for shipping’. The cheque will clear into your bank, only to be stopped/refused weeks later. At this point, the Banks/Building Societies will take the full cheque amount back out of your account. Not only will you have lost the goods, you will be out of pocket for the amount of the cheque and the amount you passed on as the difference.
Payment for brokerage/importing
A seller claims that there are brokerage fees, import duties, or other such fees required to get an item into the country. Do not pay such fees, as you will most often never get the product and will have lost any money you paid. UmojaAA is designed for local, face to face trading.
Fake escrow sites
A buyer or seller or prospective tenant/ landlord suggests using an escrow service to complete the transaction. Often these escrow web sites are run by fraudsters (even though they may look ‘official’) and they will take your money and never send you the product.
Fruit picking and farming or labour jobs
it might be a job scam involving fruit picking and other related farming jobs. These Ads are targeting backpackers and are offering employment and accommodation for an up-front fee. If you’ve seen or responded to such Ads please report it to us immediately and cease communication with the advertiser.
For safety tips when looking for Jobs on UmojaAA please we encourage you to visit the articles below:
Staying safe on UmojaAA- Jobs
Recent Scam Trends in Jobs
Requests to post Ads on behalf of strangers after posting a Wanted Ad
Fraudsters sometimes contact members via their Ads with a “too good to be true” job offer. These job offers usually involve posting Ads on the employers’ behalf, however, there is a risk that the ‘employer’ is a scammer who is looking for someone to post illegitimate Ads on their behalf.
Of particular note, currently there’s a specific scam targeting people who have posted wanted rental Ads. Via these Ads, members are contacted by fraudsters posing as “landlords” offering to hold an apartment for them, on the condition that the member posts available rental Ads on the ‘landlord’s’ behalf.
- Targeting Members – The scammers’ objective is to use other user accounts as a disguise so that the fraudster is not directly linked to the illegitimate Ads posted.
- Consequences – If your account is found to be involved with fraudulent activity, it is UmojaAA’s right to permanently block your account. Involvement in illegal activity may also result in possible police investigations.
- Avoiding the scammers – Ignore strangers requesting that you post Ads on their behalf as they are most likely to be fraudulent. If you find an Ad or have received an offer matching the previously mentioned characteristics, please do not hesitate to flag it through UmojaAA’s Ad flagging system or report it by contacting our Help Desk.