Throughout the current market, property frauds and real estate scams are gaining ground at all levels. As a result, it is getting more and more difficult to tell which ones are true and which ones are not. It is very important to choose the right property and the individual from whom you are purchasing.

Duped on the pretext of buying a plot of land

 A Zirakpur man has been charged with duping a citizen of Sector 26 in Chandigarh out of Rs 36 lakh by pretending to sell him a plot of land in Pipli Wala Town in Manimajra.

Tarsem Singh, a victim of land theft, writes in his complaint that he and his son-in-law paid the accused, Sushil Gandhi, of Peermuchalla, Zirakpur, Rs 36 lakh for the land, but he failed to provide them with a no objection certificate (NOC) from the notified area committee, Manimajra. Furthermore, whenever they inquire about the status, Sushil starts making excuses like the fact that a rainwater pipe has yet to be removed from the plot.

Singh grew suspicious of Sushil's intentions, so he went to inspect the property himself. Upon visiting the site, he discovered that construction was underway in the plot. Upon further research, he learned that the accused had registered the land in the names of seven other individuals, including his son.

Manimajra police station has registered a case under Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

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How to stay safe from fake sellers - 

1. In some cases, criminals try to sell properties by impersonating the owner using a stolen or fake ID. You should always verify the validity of the seller before making any big purchase.

2. Scammers are likely to lack patience or to show a sense of urgency. In the case of unknown people, paying them in advance is not a good idea.

3. You need to study the title documents carefully to make sure the owner is the rightful owner of the property. If any shortfall is found in the documents of title, the whole document may turn out flawed.

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 #136. 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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