Combat Against Online Crime

(13 February 2007) bidorbuy.co.za - Africa's largest online marketplace - takes a proactive stand towards combating the online crime.

In a recent isolated case of alleged internet fraud, it is presumed that a seller has gone missing in action after having sold over R100,000 worth of goods on bidorbuy in a single day. The seller has been trading legitimately on bidorbuy for over a year and has previously concluded a number of successful sales with various satisfied buyers. In August 2006 he applied to bidorbuy to become a verified seller, and after having passed the stringent tests with bidorbuy he received a verified status. With no previous history or record of abnormal behaviour there was no way that bidorbuy could have prevented or suspected any conduct unbecoming. It now appears that the seller may have disappeared after having accepted payment from various buyers via credit card and direct deposits, with the promise of delivering the goods. Unfortunately the goods have not yet been delivered and the seller is unreachable.

"The situation in question is extremely unfortunate and the first of its kind we have experienced in South Africa, and bidorbuy is taking the matter very seriously" Says Gillian Meier, Business Manager at bidorbuy.co.za. "The rate of fraudulent transactions on bidorbuy is a fraction of a percentage of the total transactions that take place and in most cases (the current case in question excluded) would have been avoided by most savvy buyers. bidorbuy is doing everything possible to resolve the case in question and to recover the funds for the affected buyers" continues Meier.

Security is amongst the single largest barrier preventing online shopping. Consumers are still particularly reluctant to conclude transactions on the Internet. This being said, the number of South Africans turning towards online banking and online shopping is on the rise. Bidorbuy has experienced an increase of over 200% in the last year resulting in over R5 million revenue per month being generated from sales.

In order to protect this valuable business model and to keep its communities best interests at heart, bidorbuy takes a very proactive stance in ensuring that it combats against online fraud as far as possible. With crime on the rise - whether online or offline - consumers need to take necessary precautions. As one takes care not to leave your purse or credit card unattended, so too should you be alert to the precautions to take when purchasing online.

bidorbuy has a number of procedures and fraud detection systems in place specifically aimed at protecting South African users . The bidorbuy rating system is designed to offer all consumers - buyers and sellers - with a transparent view of the trader's credibility. Consumers should always check comments made by other buyers before concluding a transaction. It is easy to spot uncanny behaviour or irregular patterns by observing the comments posted on the rating system. This system has proved to be an invaluable tool in assisting buyers to determine the trustworthiness of sellers. bidorbuy has also implemented a Buyer Protection Program where buyers are protected up to a certain amount when buying from a verified seller.

Other facts to be alert to when purchasing online should include buying from traders outside of South African borders, unless they have a positive and credible trading history on bidorbuy. Most sellers on bidorbuy are based in South Africa and bidorbuy has an automated check to ensure that the seller is in fact in the country where they claim to be. It is much safer to buy from a South African based trader since virtually all local sellers accept bank transfers as a form of payment. With the latest FICA regulations the buyer has recourse should something go wrong as the buyer has access to the sellers banking details. With PayPal still being unavailable to receive payments in South Africa, bidorbuy has introduced a local equivalent called bobPay, which enables buyers to issue charge backs should payment have been made for an item not received. While the buyer and seller are in the same country there is a complete electronic audit trail of all transactions making it very difficult (unfortunately, not impossible) for fraud to take place.

One should apply logic at all times when purchasing online. If you feel suspicious about the identity of any particular seller, get more information. Although bidorbuy hides the contact details of the buyer and seller during the transaction phase (in the interest of protecting their identities and the bidorbuy business model), there is no reason not to call bidorbuy in order obtain peace of mind in regards to the person you are transacting with.

bidorbuy does not proclaim to be experts in determining what is legal and what is not, however they have taken the initiative in forging closer relationships with authorities such as the SAPS, SAFACT and ICASA in order to assist with blacklisting sellers where necessary and to aid in taking necessary precautions and legal actions where required.

About bidorbuy

bidorbuy is South Africa's largest online marketplace. Established in 1999, the company has created a safe and convenient way for people to buy and sell goods online. As a virtual trading place that brings buyers and sellers together and allows them to buy and sell virtually anything in an exciting auction format, using the Internet, bidorbuy has created a thriving online marketplace.