Technology has made it possible to do many things online with just a click. Online shopping and selling are becoming more and more popular. Despite the many benefits of modern technology, there are also many drawbacks. There are more and more online frauds, and the fraudsters are becoming more clever with every passing day. Here is a blog detailing how OLX users get scammed by fraudsters.

OLX is essentially an online market for buying and selling services and goods like furniture, electronics, bikes, and cars. It is necessary for the seller to post ads on the website before making a sale. Although this platform has helped many sellers and buyers, fraudsters are taking advantage of it to cheat people and make quick money.

QR Code Fraud

It is more common for scammers to target sellers on online marketplaces. When you wish to sell something online through an online marketplace. You may receive calls from fraudsters expressing interest. They will negotiate the price with you and show you some ID to gain your trust.

Once this is done, a QR code is sent to the seller. It is scanned by the seller in order for the payment to be received. The ploy, however, is not so innocent. In such a scenario, the seller would end up sending the money to the scammer instead of receiving it.

A man lost Rs 2.8 lakh to scammers 

In Pune, a 44-year-old man was duped by a person claiming to be interested in an online advertisement posted by the victim to sell an air cooler.

Paresh Mathur, a resident of the Mohammadwadi area of Pune, posted an advertisement on Olx with the aim to sell an air cooler. Around 10 am on March 29, Mathur received a call from a man interested in buying the appliance.

The man called Mathur multiple times and after some conversation, he agreed to buy the appliance. He agreed to pay for the air cooler and sent Marthur a QR code.

Mathur was instructed to scan the QR code sent by the caller and complete the transaction. As Mathur scanned the code, he lost money instead of receiving money; the caller assured him that he would get the money back.

The fraudster then sent Mathur more QR codes assuring him the money would be refunded, and Mathur completed each payment. According to the police, the complainant lost Rs 2,80,000 through multiple transactions. The fraudster has since disappeared.

Tips to prevent fraud:

1. The first thing you should do if you receive a message asking for money is to check the number. In the event that one of your friends or acquaintances suddenly has a new number and asks you for money, you should be suspicious at the very least.

2. There are a lot of 'phishing' incidents taking place on WhatsApp. Any link that appears to be malicious should not be clicked on.

3. 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.

4. 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 #109. 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. 

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