Technology has made it possible to do many things online at just a click of a button. When it comes to buying or selling goods, many
people prefer to do so online. There are a lot of comforts that modern technology has provided, but there are also many drawbacks. Every day, there is an increase in online fraud, and fraudsters are getting smarter. We will discuss in this blog how people get cheated on OLX by fraudsters.
In Kolkata, a lady prevents herself from being scammed.
Debapriya Guha lives in Kolkata, West Bengal, and works as a software engineer. The lady decided to advertise her 4-year-old GATE books on OLX in order to sell them. A total of 15 books were included in the set, and she had set the price on the high end (Rs 2500), anticipating the buyer would negotiate and that the price would settle at around Rs. 2000.
She received a chat message from a user shortly after posting the advertisement. When asked about the price, she replied that it has already been given. The fraudster was willing to pay the full amount in advance and wanted to make the payment in advance.
He didn't even try to negotiate the amount. Her fraudster told her he would be paying by merchant card, not cash, and that once he sent her the amount, she would receive a link and need to open it to receive it. Several times she asked him how he will collect the books and why he would pay before checking them.
The man showed no interest in collecting the books, saying that his brother will do it in the evening. The woman was skeptical that this was a scam but went along with the idea of receiving Rs 2500. Also, she believed there was no way he would scam her since he would be sending me money, not the other way around.
The person he called said he was in the office, and someone in his department would send me the money since he had neither Gpay nor PhonePe on his phone. She became more skeptical after speaking to his senior but went along with it. He told her that he had sent her the money and that she should click on the link he sent her in the message.
As soon as she saw the message she had received, her suspicions about being scammed were confirmed. All the spellings in the message were incorrect (Screen Shot below). He hung up the phone after Guha confronted him and told him that she would give his number to the police.
What to do if you get a call from such a scammer?
1. Verify details of buyer/seller before proceeding to payment.
2. Any individual showing urgency or not waiting for a reasonable amount of time is likely to be a scammer.
3. Don't scan a QR Code or visit a link sent by anybody over the internet.
5. Fraudsters use fake identification of the army to gain trust. Keep a check on such attempts.
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 #221. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org