Similar to every other fraud, lottery fraud is also on the rise in India. Many Indians have lost thousands of rupees to lottery frauds. Several online fraud reports mention lottery fraud as one of the top three types of online fraud. Fraudsters have taken advantage of many people who wanted to win the lottery.

How does lottery fraud work?

There are many different types of lottery fraud, but the most common one is lottery fraud, which is characterized by phone calls, emails, SMSs, WhatsApp messages, and letters claiming that the recipient of the message has won a very large sum of money. If the recipient wishes to receive the lottery amount, then they will need to deposit money as processing fees or transfer charges. Fraudsters will run off with the money after they receive the payment.

A man is duped by online scammers with lottery bait

Online fraudsters robbed a man in Ludhiana of Rs 3.60 lakh after approaching him under the pretense of offering him a lottery worth Rs 25 lakh. There was a request from the lottery organizer for him to pay Rs 20,000 as GST for taking part in the lottery. According to reports, the victim has been identified as Jagdishpreet Singh, 45, of Star Colony, Gill Road.

Jagdishpreet Singh claimed to have received a telephone call from an unknown number telling him that he had won a lottery worth Rs 25 lakh. According to the accused, he will have to pay 20,000 rupees as GST for the lottery. After agreeing to pay, the victim sent the money, at the same time, the accused drew Rs 3.60 lakh from his account. Later, he requested that his bank account be frozen and filed a police report.

Ludhiana police's Inspector Jatinder Singh, assigned to the Cyber Cell-II, said the suspect had initially convinced the victim he had won a lottery. Afterward, the accused asked for his bank details, claiming that they would transfer the money to his account. Once he had his details, the accused sent him a barcode for GST payment. Immediately after scanning the barcode, Jagdishpreet lost Rs 3.60 Lakh in three transactions.

The police inspector said they tracked the transfer of the money to the bank account. Based on the police investigation, the accused were identified as Sudam Hussain of Bihar, Lovepreet Singh of Jalandhar, Nusaad Ansari of Bihar, Raju Beta of Muzaffarnagar, and Suwkhjinder Singh of Jalandhar. They were all arrested.

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Tips to avoid lottery fraud - 

1. In order to avoid price money fraud, you must never respond to unsolicited offers received via email, text messages, phone calls, or any other means.

2. Never advance money to anyone who contacts you claiming to be a lottery.

3. It's never a good idea to make a payment if someone claims to be the lucky winner of a lottery. You should never give anyone your sensitive information while on the phone. 

4. 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 #225. 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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