OLX allows you to buy and sell goods and services online, including furniture, electronics, cars, and bikes. An ad must be posted on the website before the sale can take place. This platform has been beneficial to many sellers and buyers, but fraudsters have been abusing it to steal money from people.

Delhi: Retired official tries to sell furniture online, gets scammed for Rs 72,000

The Internet has indeed made our lives easier. Although its easy accessibility and quick reach make it a jack-of-all-trades, it continues to be a double-edged sword that can harm people if misused.

Online scammers and fraudsters have defrauded many innocent users of their hard-earned money many times. While one might think that such a thing could only happen to people from rural areas or unacquainted with the internet, it has happened to people who would normally be too wise to be fooled by such an act.

In Delhi, a retired government official of the level of additional secretary learned this lesson the hard way when he was duped out of his money while trying to sell old furniture online.

A senior police officer from the South Western district confirmed that the complainant told police on September 19th that he had advertised his old furniture on Olx an online marketplace where he was contacted by a man pretending to be an online furniture dealer looking to buy it.

"He called me on Sunday and told me that he was seeking the help of one Valji Bhai, a money transfer person, for sending money to my account. The complainant noted that Rs 70,000 had been withdrawn from his bank account when he connected to his online wallet account.

Following this inquiry, the man posing as a buyer told the complainant the debited amount did not appear in his account, which lead the complainant to become suspicious, at which point he called the police.

Sarojini Nagar police station has registered a case under section 420 of the IPC. As of yet, no one has been arrested.

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

How to avoid these types of scams

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. You should never scan a QR code, share an OTP, or visit a link given by anyone on the internet.

4. Your One Time Password (OTP), UPI pin, and other secret information should not be shared on WhatsApp. Never provide banking information if anyone asks you to and always contact your bank. There is a possibility of fraud here.

5. 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 #232. 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