So I’ve got a few things to sell and just like the other sheep out there, I decide to give OLX a go because their ‘Sell It!’ adverts are catchy. I uploaded my ad today and not even a minute later I got two queries from a Jeremy Randall and another guy called Sean Alberts. Jeremy SMSed me, and I replied. He didn’t seem to concerned with seeing the goods at all, and was quite pushy to do the payment up front and then have me deliver. Since I’m nobody’s courier, I told him he could come and view the phone at my office and then if he was happy, he could do an EFT. But, I was only prepared to send my address after the EFT was done. This in itself should’ve told me everything I needed to know, as a buyer, I’d never agree to that! This guy had my phone number and an email address. How would he ever get his cash back if I had been a scammer myself? Red flag zero.
First red flag: I am a dummy, I know better – these things should always be cash. Always.
Second red flag: I sent my banking details and within a minute received a proof of payment, which looked suspect at best:
Third red flag: I call the guy, and am surprised to hear a very Nigerian accent. As far as I know, ‘Jeremy’ is not really a Nigerian name that is very popular, is it. *DING DING DING ALARM BELLS*
Jeremy sweetly says “Don’t worry, I will send you a copy of my ID to make you feel safe”. This is his (very much photochopped) ID:
I look at the above ID and burst out laughing. Thank god I had the sense to withhold collection first. This was ridiculous. A quick google of “Jeremy Randall OLX” brought up the following two links of previous scams he’s already pulled off:
I then sent Jeremy the following email, to which I’ve had no reply:
So firstly, high-five to me for trusting my gut on this one. So many people fall for this stuff all the time, and a few years ago my little naive soul would have very probably been one of them. I guess that’s what happens when you marry a Jew, you become frugal (mwahaha, just joking, Jon!). Seriously though, Jon has taught me to not take everything at face value and to question people and things and their intentions. Not always, but mostly. And so far it hasn’t failed me. Trust your gut, people.
Secondly, OLX, why do you guys make it so hard to report scammers? I totally understand that you cannot be held liable for other humans and their scammer tendencies, but surely you should make the user journey easier for victims? I’ve been on your website for 15 minutes now and I STILL can’t find the bloody button. Surely the safety of your buyers and sellers should be foremost? Why make it so hard for them to be protected. I can find the report sellers button easily, but not report the buyers. You should get on that.
Update at 16:20 on 11 November:
OLX responded via Twitter saying they’re already in the process of fixing their website to make things easier to report scamming. They’ve also banned Jeremy Randall and other known aliases. Good job, OLX!