There are many online marriage sites in India that have taken the place of traditional marriage brokers. Using a matrimonial website requires that you register on the site and upload your profile. After registering your profile, you can look for a match based on your preferences. Matrimonial websites are really useful for many people, and many have even found their ideal matches by using them.

We will discuss in this blog an actual instance of a lady cheated of Rs 14 lakhs through an online marriage proposal.

What exactly happened?

In order to find a suitable match, a lady from Delhi registered on a matrimonial site.  She received a message from a person named Dr. Neil Seed Kumar after registering on the website. The accused provided the victim with his Whatsapp number and email address during a conversation. The two then exchanged messages via Whatsapp and phone calls.

The accused told the victim a few days later that he would send her a parcel containing gold jewelry and a large amount of cash. A few days before the parcel reached her, the accused called the victim to inform her that the parcel was stuck at the customs office. He requested that she release the parcel from the customs office with a payment of Rs 14 lakhs.  As a result, the lady didn't have any suspicions about the accused because he tricked her so well. Her belief led her to transfer Rs 14 Lakhs to four different Indian bank accounts.

Immediately following the money deposit, there was no sign of the individual. She reported the fraud to the police. Currently, the police have arrested three people, including one Nigerian national. Women were cheated on matrimonial sites in the name of a marriage proposal by the gang.

As matrimonial sites gain popularity, frauds on these sites are on the rise as well. It is not uncommon for people to impersonate others on matrimonial sites in order to cheat. Recent years have seen many cases of men and women cheating on matrimonial sites. Therefore, you should be very cautious about the people you meet on matrimonial sites. 

Also Check: 62-year-old lost 12.26 lakhs to a travel agent fraud 

How to avoid this kind of fraud?

1. Ensure that you check a person's background before getting close to him/her on a matrimonial site. 

2. People take advantage of these matrimonial sites to cheat innocent people and make quick money, so you should never lend money to someone you meet on these sites. Often, fraudsters try to trick you by claiming that they are in a difficult situation or that they need money to clear gifts from customs. Don't be fooled by these kinds of 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 #190. 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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