Online matrimonial sites can help you find a life partner. On these sites, people who are seeking life partners register and create profiles. Matrimonial websites are preferred by some people in this busy world in search of a life partner over other methods. In India, there are many matrimonial sites and they have worked well for many people.

Matrimonial websites have proven useful in helping many people find life partners, but they have also led to thousands of people losing money because of fraud. Online matrimonial sites are often abused by scammers, who create fake profiles in order to defraud people. By providing wrong information, they gain the trust of the victims and then run off with the money.

A doctor from Hyderabad lost Rs 8 lakh to online fraud.

An orthopedic surgeon from Hyderabad was recently scammed by a fraudulent matrimonial website user pretending to be a divorcee from the UK.

During the day, the doctor received a message on her phone from a person introducing himself as a doctor living in England.  According to him, he was a divorcee and was seeking matrimonial alliances anywhere in the world. 

As she believed him to be genuine, she started talking with him. In an attempt to trick the victim, the fraudster told her he was going to visit India very soon and marry her. As part of the scam, the fraudster told the doctor he was going to send expensive gifts and articles to the victim.

In the next few days, someone claiming to be an official from the customs department called her. To get the gifts and articles through home delivery, the caller asked the doctor to pay Rs 7,45,500 towards customs clearance. She transferred Rs. 7,45,500 to the mentioned account, believing this to be true.  

As soon as she paid the money, the fraudster who had posed as a doctor stopped contacting her. She then filed a police report. In the course of the investigation, the police determined that the fraudster had not been in England, but was calling from Delhi.

During the time the police were investigating this complaint, she brought up a second complaint. She reported that she received a gift box from a courier guy a few days after filing the first complaint. She had to enter a password in order to open the gift box.  In exchange for the password to the gift box, the UK doctor asked for Rs 500,000. Once again believing it to be true, she transferred Rs 500,000 into the bank account. You should never give money to strangers to avoid this kind of fraud.

Also Check: Mumbai woman lost 14 lakh in loan fraud

How to avoid this kind of fraud?

1. Check the background of anyone you meet on a matrimonial site before getting close. 

2. Innocent people are often cheated on these matrimonial sites, so you must never lend your money to someone you meet on a matrimonial site. You may be tricked by scammers who claim they are in a tough situation or who ask you for money to clear gifts at the customs office. Do not fall victim to such tricks.

3. 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 #187. 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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