Our lives have been made much easier by technology, and a lot of things can be done just by sitting at home. The internet allows us to do everything from order food to pay bills to book movie tickets. Google is the most popular search engine for online searches.

Google is the most used search engine in the world and makes finding what you want easy. Despite the fact that Google is helping everyone locate what they need, a Google search fraud cost a lady a sum of Rs 1 lakh.

An innovative technique has been devised by fraudsters to cheat people using the Google Search Engine. Despite Google's ability to help a lot of people, fraudsters are using it to scam people.

This is how it happened - 

In general, we go to Google to find customer support numbers for companies. The same thing happened with a woman from East Delhi's Seemapuri who had some refund problems with her e-wallet account and wanted to contact the company's customer service department. She used Google to search for the customer care number and called the number that appeared right at the top of the Google search engine.

In order to resolve the problem, the customer care agent requested her banking information. She provided her bank information and credit card number believing her problem would be resolved and in the hopes of receiving a refund. When she checked her bank account after a while, she was shocked to see Rs 1 lakh had been deducted. It turned out the fraud had been committed by fraudsters using google search.

The number of such frauds increasing these days, so be very careful when calling the numbers that appear on the Google search engine.

Several people may be wondering how fraudsters are able to use their mobile numbers instead of company numbers. Actually, it is not as hard as one might think. Google Maps and Google Search allow anyone to edit information about banks, shops, and other establishments. Despite the fact that this option is provided to enhance services, fraudsters misuse it for their own gain. 

Unaware of online frauds and scams, people believe that a Google search provides a legitimate number. In cases where people are unaware, fraudsters posing as customer service representatives collect all their personal information, including bank and card numbers.

Also Check: Fake tracking ID scam on Quickr.

How to avoid Google Search fraud?

1. The information available online must not be blindly believed. Always verify the information before believing it. To contact a specific company, check their official website.

2. Don't give your banking details to anyone over the phone. Banks or businesses will never ask you for your personal information over the phone.

3. 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.

This is Fraud Story #108. Check back here for more fraud 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 letstalk@iamvouched.com