There are a lot of frauds and con artists in the world. There are a lot of websites where fraudsters try to take advantage of innocent people for money. It has become increasingly widespread to cheat people online these days.  There are many instances of people being defrauded while using online transactions.

More and more people fall victim to online fraud as more and more people use the Internet. As fraudsters have grown more intelligent, they have developed new tricks to trick people on a regular basis. One of the tricks fraudsters use, like posting their numbers on Google under the name of a genuine company.

A cyber-fraud involving fake couriers costs three people Rs 3.02 lakh

In Mumbai, recently, cyber-criminals posing as courier service executives stole about Rs 3.02 lakh from the bank accounts of three people. Using the false pretense of registering and collecting advance payments, the fraudsters got the money transferred into their accounts.

When searching online for courier services, all three victims found the numbers of the cyber-fraudsters who uploaded their own numbers as well-known courier services.

In the first case, the LT Marg police station near Crawford market filed an FIR on November 6. The complaint describes how a 61-year-old woman wanted to send affidavits to her son living in Pune by courier service. Her Google search resulted in a fake number for Blue Dart and she was lured into the trap. As part of the scam, she was asked to download and install AnyDesk and pay Rs 5 in processing fees.

She filled in her banking details on her phone, which was seen by the fraudster who used them to transfer Rs 91,000 in six transactions from her account.

In a similar manner, the second case was reported to the Dahisar police station on the same day. It was necessary for the complainant, 43 years old and working for an NGO, to send sweets via DTDC service. When the parcel got delayed, he looked up the courier service's number on Google.

Upon receiving a link from the fraudster, he had to enter his banking and personal information in it to register his complaint, and within minutes his bank account had been deducted Rs 50,000.

In a separate case, a 27-year-old filmmaker from Khar (West) filed a police report on November 8 at the Khar police station. A Blue Dart number was given to her by her office boy who found it on Google. The number was fake and the fraudster provided a link asking her to fill in her personal information. Following this, around Rs 1.62 lakh was withdrawn from her account in 16 separate transactions.

Also check: While trying to order cake online, a doctor lost Rs.53,000

How to avoid this kind of fraud?

1. Please do not provide personal information such as credit card numbers, CVV, OTPs, UPI PINs, and other sensitive information to anyone over the phone.  You won't be contacted by banks or reputed companies requesting your personal information.

2. Please do not Google a company or bank's customer service number. To obtain the company's customer service numbers, check out their official website.

3. You should never click on unknown links sent to you via SMS or email.

4. 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 #207. 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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