How I became the victim of an online scam

Instagram page with great bargain on Nike sneakers ate my Sh2,500

In Summary

• Online scammers have mastered the art of having a convincing facade; beware

A pair of sneakers
A pair of sneakers

It all started with a sneakerhead wanting more sneakers. Did I find my pair of sneakers? Yes, I did. Where? Online, on social media, Instagram to be precise. Ahead I went and hit up (DM’d) the thrift store and… The prices were very affordable. I didn’t think of the fact that if the deal is too good, think twice.

It was a pair of blue Nike dunks going at Sh2,500 after relentlessly searching at several online shoe-selling stores, where they retailed at double that price. The hustler in me was like, “Aaah, hii ni deal fiti, nasave hadi 2k.” Like, what’s the worst that could happen?

The page was pretty convincing, the posts were all shoes, the highlights consisted of customer reviews, various offers, delivery. I was definitely sold! I went ahead and texted the online thrift shop on Instagram. After a short conversation on the shoes I wanted, the colour and shoe size I liked, they reassured me of the delivery and provided me with the till number. Gladly, I paid and waited for at least two days before following up on the delivery.

The second day reached and upon messaging the online Instagram store, no reply came through; all I could see was that my messages were viewed. Literally, I was being left on seen! Sigh! I went ahead to call them, but no response. I shot them a text message on the delivery of my shoes and waited for a few minutes before calling again. On ringing them up for the second time, it went directly to User Busy. Going back to their Instagram Page, all I called see was User not found. Yaani waliniblock kila mahali like a bitter ex. Lol! I was infuriated and equally helpless.

I had to accept the fact that in fact, my money was gone and there’s nothing I could do about it. And from there henceforth, I totally refrained from purely online stores. Once bitten twice shy.

Before even buying from an online store, I have to ensure that they also have a physical store. I thoroughly do a background check (it's giving FBI/CIA vibes) of where they’ve stated the online store is.

Because believe it or not, the same thing almost happened again when a certain online store selling iPhones made people believe that they were situated at the Hub Karen. And so, I did my background check and personally went to the Hub Karen, only to be told that the store doesn’t exist and lots of people have been conned by the same people.

See, it never hurts to double and triple-check the legitimacy of an online store. Hii ni Nairobi, kama umekuja juzi, utakufa vibaya sana, nakuhurumia wewe.

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