Despite the economic disruption brought on by Coronavirus, the global video game industry continues to grow. People are using virtual worlds for escapism during the crisis because social distancing reduces physical interaction and encourages people to stay at home.

Online gaming has become more popular, but the increased engagement has also highlighted the risks, as scammers are taking advantage of the situation. Online games use real-world currency (stored in wallets) for in-game purchases, in-game currency, and in-game currency. These factors may make them attractive targets for fraudsters.

Man loses Rs 4.5 lakh after his son got cheated by an online fraudster

In Bengaluru, a teenager's addiction to mobile gaming caused his father to lose Rs 4.8 lakh after he was cheated in the name of rewards offered by online games.

Police say that the victim is employed by a private firm and resides near KR Puram in Akshayanagar. A 15-year-old boy got addicted to Free Fire, an online mobile multi-player game, through which he met someone named Lakshmi Bai.

A police officer stated that Lakshmi Bai introduced the boy to more online games. In July, she encouraged him to download some paid games and provided him with a link to make the payment. The youngster, who used his father's phone frequently that had a bank account linked to it, disclosed the One Time Password (OTP) he received on that phone to Lakshmi Bai.

It led to Rs 4.8 lakh being fraudulently transferred from two of the man's bank accounts - one at Axis Bank and another at Karnataka Bank - between July 7 and July 30. When his father discovered that he was running low on funds in his bank accounts, the teen was eventually caught out for keeping the transactions secret.

Also Check: Fraud Story #220- Woman attempts to get a refund loses ₹11 lakh

Preventing this fraud

1. Do not make any purchases from any other websites besides the official ones. Stay away from links redirecting you to third-party websites.

2. If someone emails or direct messages you for banking, financial, or personal information, don't respond. In spite of the appearance that it came from the gaming platform: legitimate companies do not ask for details via email.

3. Be careful about sharing personal information online. Don't share identifying data or account information. Never share your login credentials, even with friends.

4. Do not click on any links asking for your password to be re-confirmed. Do not update your login information by clicking on any links that ask for this information.

5. Do not divulge your personal information to anyone over the phone. In no case will a bank or a reputed company ask for your personal information like your card number, CVV, or OTP over the phone.

6. The use of digital escrow platforms for payments is recommended. When you make an online payment with Escrow, no financial information is shared. 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 #229. 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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