With the help of Google, life has been made easier. We can find answers to almost anything using the search engine. Google is the first place we look when we want to find out something. As a result of the rapid increase in internet users, online fraud has also increased.

Each day, scammers seem to come up with new ways to steal from bank accounts. Google is now being used in a new way to cheat people searching for information.

Woman duped of Rs 98,000 by a cyber fraudster in Mumbai

A 40-year-old woman living in Mumbai has been cheated out of Rs 98,000 by a cybercriminal pretending to work for an app company that provides cab services.

An investigation is now underway following a complaint filed with the police station at Aarey Colony. The complainant is a Thane West resident. In her police complaint, she explained that the incident occurred while she was taking her son to Film City in Goregaon's Aarey Colony to audition for a film.

She used an app to book an autorickshaw. Instead of sending a rickshaw to her house, the app company sent a cab to her. The woman and her son boarded the cab as they were getting late for their audition. The woman paid for the fare of Rs 1,380 but decided to take the matter up with the app cab service provider regardless.

The woman used Google to find the company's customer service numbers and dialed one that came up. She was unaware that the number belonged to a cyber fraudster.

She was asked to install an app on her phone by the accused during a brief conversation. By installing this application, he gained remote access to the screen of her phone. The accused obtained all the details of the victim's debit card and e-wallet and used them to steal Rs 98,000 from her bank account.

This woman realized she had been scammed after multiple transactions occurred and she received a string of text messages from the bank. Aarey Colony police were contacted and her net banking account was blocked.

Also Check: Fraud Story #179- An IIT postgraduate student arrested for free laptop scheme

How can people avoid this fraud?

1. Do not rely on the customer service number that pops up on Google, instead, go to the official website of the company to get the customer care number. Verify that the website you visit is legitimate and secure.

2. Don't let a stranger walk you through the process of installing a mobile app. It might be a scam if he requests that you change your mobile settings.

3. Don't give anyone your credit card number or OTP over the phone. You will never be asked to provide those details by a bank or company.

4. The use of digital escrow platforms for payments is recommended. When you make an online payment with Escrow, no financial information is shared. 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 #193. 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. 

Do you have a fraud you would like to report? Please write to us at letstalk@iamvouched.com