You can find many online marketplaces that sell electronics, furniture, bikes, cars, and other goods. They require sellers to place advertisements on their websites. These platforms have made buying and selling products online easier. If you are interested in a product advertised on the platform, contact the seller and make a purchase. Unfortunately, online marketplaces are also used by fraudsters to make money quickly by cheating people.

Fraudsters have developed a variety of tricks to deceive buyers and sellers online. A large number of people fall victim to this type of fraud, including the smart, well-educated residents of big cities.

Civil Engineer Arrested For Online Fraud Of Around ₹ 1.75 Lakh

On the pretext of selling an iPhone, a civil engineer allegedly cheated a doctor out of more than 1.75 lakh rupees by impersonating an army officer. It has been identified that the accused is Parvej Ahmad, 29, a resident of Haryana's Nuh district.

In a police complaint, Rakesh Dubey, a doctor at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, claimed that a man scammed him out of about Rs 1.75 lakh by misrepresenting to sell a new iPhone on a website. In his introduction, the seller identified himself as a member of the Army.

A fake identification card of an army officer was presented to him by the seller to gain his trust. Having trusted him, he paid the full amount upfront, and the fraudster fled with his money.

The police found that the accused routed the money from one e-wallet to another e-wallet and from one bank account to another. A few days later, police arrested Ahmad in Nuh district, Haryana, with technical assistance.

According to Ahmed, he is a civil engineer by profession, and his surrounding villagers had cheated people by impersonating some officers when selling vehicles and the newest mobile phones on an online platform, after which he had followed the same practice.

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How to avoid this type of fraud:

1. When making a purchase on any portal, make sure the seller is genuine. The reason for this is that there are many fake sellers out there who cheat people. Once the payment has been collected, the fraudsters vanish.

2. If the seller suggests making an advance payment, you should not do so.  You may be required to pay half of the amount now and the rest upon delivery from some sellers. When you pay in advance, they run away. If the seller blocks your number after your payment, you might be stuck.

3. Accepting or making advance payments is not recommended. Payments can be made and accepted using Vouch. It is a digital escrow service that releases your payment once your desired service is provided. 

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 #195. 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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