Nearly 75% of respondents reported having experienced online fraud, suggesting that the epidemic has sped up the pace of cybercrime. In addition, the OLX India Safer Internet Day Survey found that over 47% of respondents had suffered financial theft. The poll also revealed that social media use and online shopping were the top two activities that made respondents feel uncomfortable online. One in five respondents who are over 50 described the consumption of online content as potentially dangerous.

Users believe that their own awareness of internet safety has grown, even while fraud cases have increased. Over 3 in 5 respondents said they are more mindful of online safety now than they were before the outbreak. For two out of three respondents who are over 50, safety awareness has increased. Similar to this, among numerous safety precautions, keeping password hygiene—changing passwords frequently and using different passwords across multiple online services and platforms—is the best option.

“Internet usage has seen a steep rise as people are confined to their homes, and almost all activities or part thereof has moved online. This has led to a significant increase in screen time across age groups” said Amit Kumar, CEO, OLX Autos India.

Internet usage has increased somewhat (10%) among millennials (those aged 35 and under), compared to 18% of those over the age of 35. The biggest driver of overall increased internet usage (cited by 27% of respondents) is work requirements. Increasing use of social media is the second biggest factor (21 percent ). Online purchasing is clearly the single biggest contributor for individuals over 50. (28 percent ). Additionally, approximately three-fourths of respondents from all age categories concur that functioning digitally will be the major mode of operation in the future. Compared to male responders, female respondents are two times more forceful in their agreement.

The survey also revealed that the majority of parents use child locks on applications and keep an eye on how much time their kids spend using technology (60 percent in total). According to the survey, Internet usage has increased by more than 50% for the majority of respondents over the past year.

1,500 internet users between the ages of 20 and above from the top metro and non-metro cities in India participated in the study.

How to avoid these types of scams

1. Verify details of buyer/seller before proceeding to payment.

2. Any individual showing urgency or not waiting for a reasonable amount of time is likely to be a scammer.

3. You should never scan a QR code, share an OTP, or visit a link given by anyone on the internet.

4. Your One Time Password (OTP), UPI pin, and other secret information should not be shared on WhatsApp. Never provide banking information if anyone asks you to and always contact your bank. There is a possibility of fraud here.

5. It is recommended that digital escrow platforms be used for payment. When making an online payment with Escrow, you do not share your financial information with anyone. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch.

How does digital escrow work?

In digital escrow, a third-party account holds the money deposited by the buyer until the seller fulfills the terms of the contract. The escrow company supervises the transacting parties.

What is the role of Digital Escrow in preventing online fraud in India? 

Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch.

Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process. 

There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free. If you ever come across a fraudster asking for OTP, asking you to scan a QR code, or asking you to click on phishing links, you can simply refuse and ask him/her to proceed with the transaction through Vouch.

Check back here for more stories and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Safety is not just about protecting your credit, debit card number, and UPI accounts. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!

Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about avoiding frauds like these and how to act when you're becoming a victim of such a situation. 

Do you have a fraud you would like to report? Please write to us at