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BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT ONLINE VENDORS

The Communications Authority (CA) has warned online shoppers to be wary of fake vendors perpetrating online fraud.

According to CA, it has received massive complaints from people who have been conned while making purchases online.

The Authority has singled out various websites and mobile applications that purport to sell goods and services online, with criminals luring buyers through deals via email, SMS, social media and phone calls.

CA Director General Francis Wangusi in a statement pointed out some of the ways of indenting fake online dealers.

“Consumers should be suspicious of online shops without a registered physical address, unavailable customer care numbers and questionable telephone numbers, email addresses and websites,” Wangusi said.

Wangusi has also urged consumers not to disclose personal details such as bank accounts details, ATM PIN, usernames and passwords to third parties and to always verify the authenticity of online platforms through family or friends as well as desist sending money to mobile numbers belonging to individuals posing as representatives of such online stores.

Online shopping has been gaining popularity in Kenya over the years.

According to a 2017 Google report, Kenyans are shopping more online, which has seen the trend rise by 14 percent in the last three years.

According to the Consumer Connected Study 2017, the growth in online shopping in Kenya, which currently stands at 17 percent up from three percent recorded in 2014, has been attributed to a growing internet usage.

Internet usage in Kenya is among the highest in Africa ( 53% of Kenyans over 16 years able to go online). This is compared to leading South Africa at 65% and Nigeria at 63%.

Jumia and Kilimall are the most sought-after online shopping sites at 38% and 22%, respectively according to digital marketing research firm e-Ensures.

Despite the remarkable growth in online shopping in the country, Kenya’s uptake is still low compared to the global rate (59 percent) of online shopping.

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