Each day, scammers find new ways to scam people and make money quickly. There have been numerous cases of people losing money to fraudsters.  By selecting random numbers, fraudsters threaten their victims that if they don't update their Know Your Customer (KYC) information, they will be disconnected from the network.

Fraudsters have developed a variety of tricks to deceive buyers and sellers on OLX as well. Across the country, many people fall victim to this type of fraud, including smart, educated residents of big cities.

Cyber fraudsters defraud two Hyderabad men of over Rs 1.5 lakh

In Hyderabad, two men were duped of over Rs 1.5 lakh by cyber fraudsters. On one occasion, a man was duped on the pretext of updating his Know Your Customer records on an e-commerce payment portal, while on another occasion, he was fleeced while buying a car online on Olx.

Two complaints were received on the 13th of April from two different individuals. Kashinath stated in his complaint that he received a call from an unknown individual who claimed to update his Paytm KYC and asked him to provide OTPs that he received on his mobile phone. Having told him the OTP, the fraudster later withdrew Rs 1.03 lakh from his bank account, according to KVM Prasad, Additional Directorate of Cyber Crimes.

A second incident occurred when a man paid an advance payment to purchase a preowned car on Olx but later learned that he had been duped.

On the OLX website, Moin stated he saw an advertisement for a car for sale. He contacted the number on the site and requested that the seller sell that vehicle to him. Moin was then asked to pay Rs 60,000 in advance if he wished to purchase the car. Moin believed him and sent him the money, but when he tried to get in touch with him, he didn't reply.

The case has been registered, and police are investigating both cases.

How to avoid getting tricked by fraudsters?

1. In the event that you are contacted by someone claiming to be an executive of a company or bank. Confirm the information is accurate before you trust it. Get in touch directly with the company by visiting their official website.

2. Never provide sensitive information like credit card numbers, CVVs, OTPs, UPI PINs, and other confidential information over the phone.  Banks or reputable companies will not contact you for your personal information.

3. You must meet the buyer or seller in person before you make an offer on OLX or Quikr.

4. Payment in advance is never a good idea. Fraudsters demand advance payments and run away with the money after you make the payment.

5. Using a digital escrow platform is recommended for making or receiving payments. With Escrow, you do not need to share any of 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 #203. 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