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Safety Tips

How do I stay safe while using Makwacha.com?

While most individuals who use Makwacha.com have success buying, selling, renting or connecting with others, from time to time we do receive reports of people attempting to scam or defraud our users. We have found that one of the best ways to address this problem is to ensure that all transactions take place locally and in-person. Remember that Makwacha.com is a local classifieds web site and most ads are not reviewed before they go live on the site.

Buying & Selling- top tips for staying safe:

  1. The purpose of the Makwacha.com “For Sale” category is to encourage face-to-face, local, trading. When you find an item you’d like to buy, ask to meet in-person to see the item and exchange money. For personal ease and safety, always ensure you take someone with you and meet in a public place. If you’re answering a home service adask the poster to produce identification and proof of qualification before inviting them into your home. 
  2. Never send your item before receiving the money. Do not send the item until confirming that the payment was legitimate, and has cleared, with your bank. Never hand over goods after receiving an EFT notification from a buyer. Wait until the payment reflects on your bank account before handing over/sending an item.
  3. Never send or wire money to sellers or buyers. This includes never mailing a cheque or using payment services like Pesapal, Airtel Money, Western Union or Money Gram to pay for items found on Makwacha.com. It is our belief that these forms of funds transfer are favored by fraudsters.
  4. Please also take special care when buying expensive items like mobile phones, laptops, plasma TVs, music show tickets and even tickets for any shows/gigs. When buying shows tickets we suggest you take the seller’s name and ticket number, check the ticket exists and take responsibility yourself for changing the names.
  5. When buying tickets for events please be aware that some tickets may have terms printed on them that limit the ability of the original buyer to sell them to someone else.
  6. Never provide your personal or banking information (e.g. credit card number) to others over the Internet.
  7. Make yourself aware of common scams and fraud. Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your help in any task.
  8. Please contact us about any attempted fraud or suspicious emails, ads, or other activity by community members. In case of fraud or illegal activity, we also recommend that you report it to the Police.
  9. Use common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.