It seems as if fraudsters are constantly coming up with new ways to scam people and make quick money. Several people have lost money as a result of fraudsters' trickery.  Fraudsters use random numbers to target victims and tell them to either update their Know Your Customer details or they will be disconnected from the network, or that they have won prize money in some type of lucky draw.

While most people know about these scams and ignore them, some innocent people fall for them and lose their money.

Customer duped out of Rs 4.83 lakh by a fraudster posing as Airtel executive

A cyber-fraudster posing as an Airtel executive called an Airtel customer and tricked him into giving over his bank details using remote access software. Using the bank details he then transferred Rs 4.83 lakh from his account.

A police report was filed by the 23-year-old victim at MRA Marg police station. In the police report, he revealed that he had received a call from an Airtel executive who identified himself as Rahul Sharma.

The fraudster informed the complainant that his phone would be disconnected in 24 hours if he did not update his KYC information. The complainant was required to update his KYC by downloading and installing the Quick Support application from the Google Play Store to remain active.

According to the complainant, he was unaware that the application gives other people remote access to his phone, which allows them to see his phone's activities. Once the fraudster accessed his phone via the application, he asked him to send Airtel Rs 11 to ensure his safety.

In an effort to make the transaction, the complainant entered his bank details and made the payment, unaware that the fraudster was able to view his account information. Using the banking details, the fraudster then made eight transactions, withdrawing Rs 4.83 lakh in total. As the victim began receiving multiple messages, he called the fraudster, who claimed there had been a server issue, and the call was disconnected.

He tried to contact the fraudster multiple times, but he did not answer. It was revealed to the police that the complainant worked in his uncle's shop and all the money in the bank account was from his uncle's business.

How to avoid getting tricked by fraudsters?

1. In the event that you are contacted by someone claiming to be an executive of a company or bank. Confirm the information is accurate before you trust it. Get in touch directly with the company by visiting their official website.

2. Beware of calls requesting the downloading of third-party apps. You should block calls asking for confidential information. If the app has already been downloaded, make sure it is uninstalled as soon as possible.

3. You shouldn't let a stranger guide you through the mobile app installation process. If he requests to modify your mobile settings, it might be a scam.

4. The use of digital escrow platforms for payments is recommended. When you make an online payment with Escrow, no financial information is shared. 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 #128. 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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