Fraudsters learn new ways to scam people and make quick money every day. A lot of people have lost money to fraudsters after falling victim to their tricks.  The fraudsters choose random numbers and tell the victim that they must update their Know Your Customer (KYC) details otherwise they will be disconnected from the network.

Even though many people are aware of these scams and ignore them, there are still some innocent people who fall for it and lose their money.

A Mumbai diamond trader lost Rs 1.29 lakh through a KYC update fraud

A diamond trader, age 63, from South Mumbai, lost around Rs 1.29 lakh to a fraudster posing as a bank employee.

On July 27, Amit Navindchandra Zaveri, a resident of Babulnath, Mumbai, received a text message asking him to update the KYC information of his e-wallet account.

Further details could be obtained by contacting the mobile phone number provided in the message. Zaveri contacted the mobile number mentioned in the message. A man answered the phone, pretending to be a representative of the e-wallet company.

Zaveri was discouraged from visiting the e-wallet's office to update his KYC details, as the man insisted he could do it online due to the raging Coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19).

Zaveri was sent a link by the cyber fraudster asking him to fill in his credit card information. After that, he asked Zaveri to use his mobile phone to open the e-wallet account and punch in any number between 1 and 9.

Zaveri followed the process while the fraudster withdrew Rs 34,131, Rs 25,099, Rs 40,099, Rs 25,099, and Rs 5,000 from his credit card in a matter of seconds.

After noticing five suspicious transactions from Zaveri's credit card, a bank employee contacted the diamond trader to inquire about the transactions. Zaveri denied making any transactions with the card. The bank employee blocked Zaveri's credit card, as a result, said a police official from Gamdevi police station. A week later, he received the details of the bank transactions of Rs 1,29,428 lakh.

As a result of the bank's refusal to redress his claims about the fraudulent transactions, he filed a complaint with the Gamdevi police station.

At the police station, a case has been filed under section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code as well as relevant sections of the Information Technology Act, 2000. An investigation is underway into the fraud.

Also Check: On lookout for jobs, three men duped online

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. 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.

4. Phishing incidents are becoming more common these days. In the event you receive an email or a message claiming to be from your bank or another organization, you must check its official website to verify the sender.

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 #138. 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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