The world is filled with frauds and con artists. Fraudsters use many tricks to take advantage of people in order to make money. It is becoming more common these days to cheat people online.  Fraudulent online transactions are becoming more common.

More and more people are falling victim to online fraud as more and more people use the internet. In recent years, fraudsters have become smarter and have developed new tricks that fool people regularly. There are a variety of tricks they use, including setting up fake customer care numbers on Google, sending an email claiming the recipient has won the lottery or calling people claiming to be bank employees.

The story​ behind Milkha Singh's wife losing Rs 99,000/- 

Nirmal Kaur, the wife of former Commonwealth Games and Asian Games athlete Milkha Singh, fell victim to a scam after being cheated out of Rs 99,000 by someone using her credit card for online shopping. 

Fraudsters obtained her credit cards details to commit this scam. When Kaur was trying to register her pet dogs with Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, she searched for the contact number on Google. 

It was Kaur's employee, Ram Kumar, who contacted the number found on the search engine. A person answering the call claimed to represent the Municipal Corporation. During the call, Kaur stated that the person on the other side inquired about the number of pets, their breeds, etc., and asked Kumar to transfer Rs 10 as a registration fee. Kumar transferred the money using UPI. When UPI failed, the fraudster demanded Kaur's credit card number.

Karur shared her card information with the fraudster and received an OTP on her mobile device. Kaur was asked to share the OTP number with the fraudster. Kaur's employee, Kumar, warned her not to share the message, but she ignored all warnings and provided the OTP number to the fraudster. She received another message stating that Rs 99,000 had been withdrawn from her bank account after sharing the OTP. 

He hung up and when they tried contacting him, he said he would return the money soon, but he hasn't gotten back in touch with them since. Evidently, fraudsters used her card to purchase goods worth Rs 99,000 in online shopping.

Also Check: Mumbai doctor loses Rs.17 lakh to online fraud

How to avoid this kind of fraud?

1. Never provide sensitive information like credit card numbers, CVVs, OTPs, UPI PINs, and other confidential information over the phone.  Banks or reputable companies will not contact you for your personal information.

2. Don't Google a company's or bank's customer service number. Check out their official website to find customer service numbers.

3. When you receive a link via SMS or email, do not click on the link.

4. Receiving or making advance payments is not a good idea. Payments can be made and accepted using Vouch. It is a digital escrow service that releases your payment once your desired service is provided.

How does digital escrow work?

In digital escrow, a third-party account holds the money deposited by the buyer until the seller fulfils 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 #117. 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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