The most difficult task of setting up an online business is getting the right supplier. Due to COVID-19, people are forced to find alternatives to run their businesses. With the increasing demand of queries all over social media for all kinds of suppliers, the opportunities have increased for scammers. Most of them are impersonating as a supplier and taking advance payment, and eventually, the needy people are falling into the trap easily. 

How it began?

Padma Anand runs an online saree(clothing) business, where she ran out of stock during the lockdown back in 2020. She decided to buy a set of silk sarees from a seller named Tarun Sandeep Kaur. She paid INR 52,000/- in advance and was waiting for the order. After waiting for a month, she checked on the seller, who agreed to refund as the order didn’t reach. The seller refunded INR 33,000/- and won the trust of Padma. Falling into the trap, Padma asked for some other sarees in place of the rest of the amount. After a constant delay, the seller refunded another INR 9000/- after 7 months. 

The game of delay has been going on for over a year now:

When Padma asked about the remaining INR 19,000, the seller only gave back INR 9000 after 7 months. After April 4th,2021, the seller stopped replying to the messages of Padma. When Padma threatened her, that she will complain against her through online portals, Tarun(seller) blackmailed her by saying she will post her family photos on social media and accuse Padma of fraud. However, Padma kept her cool and gave her another 2 months, but the outcome was the same. This is how she lost INR 10,000/- and fall prey to online fraud. Padma took it to Facebook and posted her conversation with the seller, asking for public opinion.

Steps to follow to avoid such frauds:

1. Check and verify all licenses and documents of the seller before doing a deal.

2. Pay with Vouch, it releases your payment after the delivery of the products. 

3. Make sure to record a video while unboxing your received products, so that any dispute can be resolved easily.

4. Try to find dealers through recommendations from your contact. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is Fraud Story #22. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about having control of your money till you've delivered the product or service you contracted to!


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