Cybercrime such as E-wallet skimming is a growing problem in India. This fraud has cost many people lakhs of rupees. The fraud involves clicking on a link. Essentially, you will be downloading an e-wallet in order to get a refund or something of the sort. Making one click on your smartphone can cost you lakhs.

Online shoppers who encounter problems with their orders are usually the victims of this fraud. They call the customer care number that appears on Google without verifying that it is a genuine number. Fraudsters frequently post their phone numbers as customer service numbers for a variety of companies.

A woman lost Rs 1 lakh in an e-wallet skimming scam.

One woman from Mumbai purchased a saree worth Rs 1,500 from an online shopping site. In light of the fact that the product she received was defective, she wished to return it and obtain a refund. She contacted the customer service department of the company. The email address listed on the website was used by the woman to send the message. However, she received no response from the portal.

After searching Google for their customer support number, she decided to call them directly. She called a random number that came up on Google, believing it to be genuine. The person who picked up her call told her she would receive a refund of Rs 1,500 if she downloaded the Google Pay app. A link was sent to her phone for her to download the app. A debit of Rs 1 Lakh was made to her account as soon as she clicked on the link.

Fraud of this kind occurs on OLX as well. As soon as sellers post their advertisements on OLX, fraudsters contact them to express interest in making a purchase. By clicking on the link sent through SMS, the seller will be asked to download the eWallet in order to make the payment. Upon clicking the link, the fraudsters will immediately drain the bank account.

Also Check: Woman lost 41,000 while selling furniture online.

How to avoid this kind of fraud?

1. You should only shop at reputed online shopping portals when shopping online. It is not a good idea to shop at random online shopping portals just because they are offering a big discount.

2. Make sure the contact details of any online shopping portal are accurate before shopping.

3. Never rely on customer support numbers retrieved from Google. Contact information can be found on the company's official website instead.  

4. Any link you receive through SMS or email that is unknown to you should not be clicked.

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 #169. 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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