Modern technology has made it possible to do many things online with just a few clicks, thanks to the Internet. A large number of jobs are applied online nowadays. Technology has many benefits, but it also has many drawbacks. As fraudsters become more sophisticated, online job fraud is on the rise. 

The fraudsters recently cheated a student by promising him hefty commissions if he invested money in buying products. On December 17, a third-year IT engineering student of a Vasai college filed a complaint with the Nalasopara police station.

Engineering student duped of Rs 2.50 lakh in cyber fraud in Mumbai

A 21-year-old student of IT engineering was allegedly duped of Rs 2.50 lakh by cyber fraudsters who encouraged him to invest money for products for which he was promised big commissions.

According to the student's complaint, he lives with his parents and he wanted to help them financially by earning money on his own.

While searching for ways to make money working from home, he came across an Amazon work-from-home offer. When he called that number, he was asked to download an app named "Amazon Merchant Center". He completed the registration form on the application and shared a referral code received on his smartphone to complete the registration process, according to the complaint.

A woman then allegedly approached the complainant and said she worked for Amazon as a customer service agent. She told him he had been given a joining bonus of Rs 100, and he sent an order on the app. The user was told Rs 330 had been deposited in his app account after purchasing a chopstick for Rs 200.

After that, he was instructed to invest more and ended up paying a total of Rs. 2.50 lakh because he could see a commission of Rs. 4.99 lakh in his app account. The supervisor told him he would have to complete all task levels before he could withdraw the amount.

Afterward, he was told he would have to pay Rs 75,000 to obtain a membership card. The student said he didn't have the money, but the fraudster said that his account would be terminated if he didn't pay the money within two days. He tried to contact the fraudsters several times but no one answered and he eventually discovered he was cheated.

Also Check: A Mumbai woman duped of Rs.12 lakh on Facebook

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 #208. 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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