In the two years since the pandemic began, work from home has become increasingly popular, and scammers are now mass advertising such positions with large companies. Surely no credible organization would send such mass messages, and the questionable nature of the job itself raises red flags. Another red flag should be when the job is part-time and there is a promise of large amounts of money quickly. Recently, a fraudster sent a woman a message on Telegram asking her to deposit money in nine different online wallets. As a result, she paid Rs 2.33 lakh expecting to receive Rs 4.04 lakh.

A woman lost 2.33 lakh after she received a false message claiming to be from Amazon

The 37-year-old woman lost Rs 2.33 lakh after she received a false message purporting to be from Amazon, offering her a work-at-home job in which she would have to buy a product initially and increase its rating after which she would be rewarded.

It happened on August 16. After receiving a text message from the accused, the woman contacted him. She was told that a good commission could be earned if she helped them sell Amazon products and increase their sales.

Upon the woman's consent, the scammer sent her an "Appointment Letter". Then she was asked to buy an Amazon product by sending money to a specific e-wallet after which she would get Rs 200 as commission.

After paying Rs 5,000, the woman received Rs 200 in commissions in addition to her invested amount. The fraudster advised her on August 17 that a senior officer will contact her over Telegram to discuss a "bigger task".

She was contacted by the fraudster via Telegram and told to transfer money to nine different e-wallet accounts. In the end, the woman paid Rs 2.33 lakh, believing she would receive Rs 4.04 lakh. After she didn't receive the money, she called the fraudster who said that she would have to pay another Rs 80,700 in income tax.

The woman asked the fraudster for the money back, but he refused, saying she must first pay the income tax. Upon realizing she had been duped, the woman approached the Borivali police and filed a complaint on August 19.

Also Check: Fraud Story #159 - man lost 1.67 Lacs to QR code scam

Warning signs of job scams

1. It is a big warning sign of a job scam when a job offer seems too good to be true. A great job is hard to come by. Usually, fraudulent job offers to contact you claiming that they found your resume online. 

2. The job offer emails sent by fraudsters are poorly written. They lack professionalism when compared to emails sent by legitimate businesses. They will have a lot of spelling errors in them. As reputable companies have professionals who can write well, they do not make silly mistakes.

3. The job offer is fake if you are asked for confidential information such as bank details. It is common for fraudsters to request your bank account information, claiming to be able to set up a direct deposit or transfer funds to your account. By giving out such information, fraudsters can make fraudulent transactions.

4. A fake job usually requires payment for the offer letter. Many of them claim the amount is refundable. However, if you make the payment, you will not receive a refund. You should keep in mind that reputed companies never ask for payments when offering jobs.

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 #201. 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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