A new scam is invented every day by fraudsters to scam people and make quick money. Numerous people have lost money to fraudsters' tricks.  Using random numbers, fraudsters threaten to disconnect victims from the network if they do not update their Know Your Customer information or place fake advertisements on websites such as OLX. 

An innocent mistake can lead to a loss of lakhs of rupees. As a result, you should be very careful when making any kind of online purchase or updating your eWallet.

Cyber fraudsters in Hyderabad defrauded two men of over Rs 1.5 lakh.

One man was duped by the fake update of Know Your Customer (KYC) documents on an e-commerce payment system, while another man was scammed by a fake car deal on OLX.

In the first incident, the complaint, Kashinath stated that he received a call from someone claiming to be associated with Paytm, asking him to update his KYC. The fraudster asked him to give the OTPs that Kashinath received on his mobile number. According to KVM Prasad, Additional DCP-Cyber Crimes, the fraudster later withdrew Rs 1.03 lakh from his bank account, after he gave him the OTP.

In the second incident, a man paid an advance for a pre-owned car online, only to discover that he had been scammed.

In the report, Moin states that he found a vehicle for sale on the OLX website and called the number that was listed on the site, and asked the owner if he would be willing to buy the vehicle. The person then asked him to provide Rs 60,000 as an advance if Moin wanted the car. Monin trusted him and sent him the amount; however, when he later tried to contact him, he never replied.

Both cases have been registered with the police, and an investigation is underway.

Also Check: Fraud Story #96 - Delhi CM’s daughter scammed on OLX

How to avoid getting tricked by fraudsters?

1. If you're reached by someone pretending to be an executive of a company or bank. Make sure the information provided is accurate before relying on it. Visit the official website of the company directly.

2. Beware of fraudulent calls that require you to download any application. Any call asking for confidential information should be blocked.

3. Do not disclose OTP messages to anyone. Do not scan a QR Code or visit a link sent by anybody over the internet. 

4. If the seller insists on requiring advance payment, it is wise not to make one.  There are some sellers who ask you to pay half now and the remaining amount upon delivery. Paying the advance will result in them running away. There is a possibility that the seller may block your number after receiving your payment.

5.  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 #131. 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