In many cases, fraudsters pose as friends and family members and call or message the victim. The fraudster claims they are facing an emergency and requests money from the victim. This seems to be a genuine call or message. It is unfortunate that many of these calls and messages are faked by fraudsters who are out to steal money from innocent victims.
Such communications are often ignored because they are well known to be fraudulent. There are many people who mistakenly believe this to be true, resulting in them losing hard-earned money.
Fraudster dupes man of Rs 10 lakh on WhatsApp
46-year-old cyber fraudster arrested for allegedly swindling Rs 10 lakh from Ajay Mehta by posing as his friend in the US on WhatsApp and requesting him to transfer the amount for an emergency.
The victim Ajay Mehta runs an NGO. He received a message on WhatsApp from his US-based friend, Sriram Someshwar, which was actually a fraudster posing as his friend. In the conversation, the fraudster told Mehta that it’s an emergency and he is in a bad financial situation and needed money.
The number was unknown to Mehta, but he did not suspect anything because the two rarely communicated on WhatsApp and because the fraudster used Someshwar's picture as his profile picture. As a result, the fraudster requested that Mehta transfer the funds to some bank accounts for an urgent need, and he said he would return the money within 24 hours. An amount of Rs 10 lakh was transferred by Mehta to the account provided by the fraudster.
After Mehta requested a refund of his money, the fraudster sent him a photo of a firearm. After talking to his friend Sriram Someshwar, Mehta discovered that he had never asked for any money. As a result, Mehta approached the central cyber police station.
It is reported that police have recovered Rs 8.13 lakh from five to six bank accounts and arrested the accused Samrat Choudhari (46) in Kandivali.
According to the police, Choudhari obtained a lot of information about Mehta and his friend from his social media profile, and many cyber fraudsters study their victims on social media before they target them.
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What to do if you get a call from such a scammer?
1. Verify details of the caller before proceeding to make any payment.
2. Any individual showing urgency or not waiting for a reasonable amount of time is likely to be a scammer.
3. Don't scan a QR Code or visit a link sent by anybody over the internet.
4. Fraudsters use fake identification of friends and family to gain trust. Keep a check on such attempts.
5. Avoid accepting or making advance payment. Accept only if the payment is made through Vouch. In case you are the one who's supposed to pay - Do it through Vouch.
How does digital escrow work?
In digital escrow, a third-party account holds the money deposited by the buyer until the seller has complied with 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 #119. 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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