Fraudsters are known to pose as friends and family members and contact the victim over the phone or by text message. Fraudsters claim to be in an urgent situation and ask victims to provide them with money. The call or message appears to be genuine. Sadly, many of these calls and messages are faked by fraudsters who are out to steal money from innocent victims.

It is common knowledge that such communications are fraudulent, so they are often ignored. A large number of people mistakenly believe this to be true, which results in them losing hard-earned money.

Pune Police: Fraudster dupes man of Rs 3 lakh over WhatsApp conversations

Over WhatsApp conversations, a fraudster allegedly scammed an employee of a private company out of Rs 3 lakh. The victim, a 41-year-old resident of Wakad, has filed a First Information Report (FIR) at the Wakad police station.

An officer reported that the accused claimed to be the complainant's friend and contacted him over WhatsApp on January 19. The fraudster used a picture of one of the complainant's friends for his profile picture on the messaging app, according to police.

It is believed that the fraudster pretended to have an emergency and requested financial assistance from the complainant. The fraudster also provided a Canara Bank account number to the victim.

By means of an online transfer, the complainant then transferred Rs 3 lakh to the accused's bank account - in the belief that the latter was a friend. In the end, he discovered that he had been scammed and filed a police report.

A fraudster unknown to the authorities has been booked under sections 420 and 419 of the Indian Penal Code, as well as appropriate provisions of the Information Technology Act. Inspector Santosh Patil, an investigating officer with the Wakad Police station in Mumbai, said further investigation is underway.

You might also want to check -  Fraud Story #102 - Bank employee lost 67,000 in a lottery scam!

What to do if you get a call from such a scammer?

1. Verify details of the caller before proceeding to make any 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.

4. Fraudsters use fake identification of friends and family to gain trust. Keep a check on such attempts.

5. Avoid accepting or making advance payment. Accept only if the payment is made through Vouch. In case you are the one who's supposed to pay - Do it through 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 #231. 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