With online shopping, it is seamless and easy for customers to browse through retail stores' products, browse through their product offerings, and purchase products with just one click. However, simplicity does not come without challenges. Although many legitimate online sellers exist, scammers can exploit the anonymity of the Internet to prey on unsuspecting shoppers.

A woman lost Rs 10 lakh while buying groceries online

During the lockdown, a Kakkanad resident purchased groceries through an online delivery website and lost around Rs 10.05 lakh. A police investigation is underway after the Infopark police registered the case on Friday.

According to police, the woman searched on Google for grocery shops that deliver groceries to home in Kochi. She found a number of an online store that claimed to deliver groceries, the number was a scam. A person picked up the phone and asked her to pay Rs 11 for the registration fee by clicking a link on a website. Upon clicking the link, she entered her account details and credit card information. Following that, she communicated the transaction details to the fraudster. Upon the transaction's completion, her account had lost around Rs 10.05 lakh, a police official said.

Fraudsters have increasingly become active as people seek out online grocery stores that deliver to their homes, according to the Cyber Cell officials. Whenever people order groceries online from unknown grocery stores with home delivery, they should be cautious. Officials warn that scam websites are also spreading on social media, including WhatsApp and Facebook.

The police are tracking the mobile phone number that was used to place the online order by the victim. Additionally, they are attempting to find the account to which the money was credited. An account in a different state is suspected to have received the money.

Also Check: Fraud Story #227- Paytm scam: How did a man lose ₹1.85 lakhs?

How to avoid this fraud -

1. 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.

2.  Do not call the number shown on a Google search. Check the official website of the company instead.

3. You shouldn't let a stranger guide you through the mobile app installation process. If he requests to modify your mobile settings, it might be a scam.

4. 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 #230. 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 letstalk@iamvouched.com