Shopping in big markets in Nigeria such as Oshodi, Computer Village (Ikeja), Eko (Idumota), Yaba etc. is not an easy task. There are several things that could go wrong. The huge number of people that go to such market each day makes it easy for criminals to hide themselves amongst people doing legitimate business. Fake products are also being sold as genuine ones. Losing money to fraudsters triggers an unbearable emotional distress. Criminals are inventing new ways to defraud and scam people of their hard-earned money.
Thousands of Nigerians go these big markets daily in search of their daily bread. While several people go there to for legitimate business, there are also hoodlums who go there with the aim of defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians. There have been several tales of fraud perpetrated by an organized crime syndicate in big markets like Computer Village (Ikeja), Yaba, Eko (Idumota), Oshodi etc. Here, I will like to reveal how you can shop safely as well as some strategies and tactics that are used by the criminals.
A picture of Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos State.
1. Avoid staying in a populated area.
It is common sight to see a group of people gathered around marketers listening to the wonders and efficacy of their products. Little crowds like that easily attract pickpockets who are experts in removing your valuables from your pockets or your bags. You should be constantly aware of your surroundings whenever you find yourself in the market.
2. Do not listen to any stranger that calls you.
When you get to the market, several people will immediately rush towards you – pulling, dragging and persuading you to buy their products. Make sure you hold your money and valuables tight as some of them may try to pickpocket you while pretending to be traders. Go exactly to where you want to buy something. If you do not know where to go, look for shops that have elderly people as attendants or shop owners. They are likely to be people you can trust. Ask them for where you can get whatever it is you came to buy.
A picture of Idumota, Lagos State
3. Go in the day.
Whether you are familiar to the surroundings in the market or not, it is best to go in the day. During the day, you can see who is behind, beside or in front of you. This will also help you to conclude your shopping early. Further, Lagos traffic worsens in the night so leaving the market early will help you get home early. The night time offers the perfect condition for hoodlums and thieves. To avoid being their target, it is best to get to the market early and leave early.
4. Take little cash and valuables; make electronic transaction.
In an age where you can easily transfer funds through your mobile phone, it is not ideal to carry a lot of money around. It is wise to only carry the amount you will use for transporting yourself. A lot of businesses now have POS you can make transaction with. It is advisable you make only electronic transaction.
5. Buy only from trusted sellers and obtain a receipt for every transaction you make.
Do not buy from a roadside vendor; buy only from trusted sellers and obtain a receipt for every transaction you make. It is easy to be fooled and scammed anywhere in Nigeria. A trick used by some fraudsters in Computer Village is to change the product you have bought into a fake one when it is being repackaged. Test every product you buy and do not leave without a valid receipt. Call the numbers on the receipt and make sure it is responded to or picked by the seller in your presence.
Further, it is advisable to tell your friends and families your movements wherever you are. Remember; always be conscious of your surroundings and valuables.
Content created and supplied by: Jeremiah_Lateef (via Opera News )