A Kharghar woman was duped out of Rs 8.5 lakh by a cyber fraudster under the guise of purchasing used clothing. The fraudster, pretending to be a used furniture and clothing dealer from Andheri, asked the woman to scan QR codes to get paid for used clothing and defrauded her financially. The woman had advertised on the Olx app to sell old clothes.

On May 17, the 37-year-old complainant placed the advertisement for the sale of used clothing on the Olx app. She got a call on May 19 from a man who introduced himself as a trader in used clothing and furniture.

On May 25, the man called her and informed her that he would use Paytm to send a man to collect all the clothes. He supplied a QR code as well. 2 rupees were added to her account after she scanned the QR code. Later, the man sent her 11 QR codes, which she scanned all of, only to discover that she had been defrauded of Rs 8,50,001, which was taken out of her account as she did so.

He advised the complainant that she did not need to list her items for sale on Olx because he would buy them all from his shop in Andheri. The complainant sent photos of old clothing to the person on WhatsApp after asking them to share them.

When she realized she had been duped, she went to the Kharghar police station and filed a complaint. In response to the complaint, police opened an investigation and filed a case under section 420 of the IPC for cheating and section 66 D of the IT Act against an unidentified person.

Here's how to avoid falling victim to such scams:

  1. Never ever send money via a QR code delivered through WhatsApp.
  2. If you phone an unidentified number to place an online order, avoid paying in advance. Whenever you can, go shopping.
  3. Only ever make purchases from reputable, authorized websites.
  4. Call 1930 right away and share the transaction details if you still made a mistake and lost money to cybercriminals so that the money can be recovered.

In addition, there are several safety precautions that one might do to prevent such a crime. The following are the precautions:

  • Before sending or receiving money, check the buyer's or seller's credentials.
  • A buyer or seller that acts hurriedly or urgently is probably a scammer.
  • Never open any links or scan any QR codes. Money loss is possible.
  • Avoid taking or giving money in advance. It might be a ruse to cheat you.
  • To gain trust and confidence, fraudsters use phony identification documents issued by national institutions. Any such attempt should be avoided.

How to identify if a buyer or seller is fake?

  1. When a buyer pretends to have transferred your money via Google-Pe, Phone-Pe, etc., but the money is really taken from your account.
  2. The buyer requests that you ship the item before they pay for it or offers phony payment documentation.
  3. The buyer will request the item without first checking it and will deceive by giving fake payment confirmations, messages, etc.
  4. Demand for non-cash payment methods: Usually, the buyer is adamant about using a cheque. Note that banks are not liable if cheques bounce.
  5. The buyer requests personal data such as your ID, bank account information, email address, and debit or credit card number.

How to avoid getting scammed?

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.

Digital Escrow Service 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.

Check back here to learn more about Escrow and how to protect yourself from fraud.


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!

As you're now aware of the importance of online safety, let's get your transactions secure on Vouch. It's just a click away.