Quikr 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.

Marketplaces such Quikr dominate India's online classifieds market. The number of buying and selling transactions handled by these platforms is increasing daily. Recently, Quikr has been under public scrutiny for advance fee frauds, as well as other online procurement scams.

The woman claimed that the chief general manager of her business called her and said that he wanted to sell some furniture for Rs 21,000 and that he had found a potential buyer on the internet marketplace Quickr who was interested in purchasing them.

A 26-year-old Mumbai woman who attempted to sell furniture valued at Rs 21,000 on an online marketplace ultimately lost Rs 3.77 lakh when a cybercriminal duped her into sending the money under the guise of making a payment.

On July 5, the Malad police station filed a FIR. The woman resides in a building managed by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority and works as an executive assistant for a petroleum firm in Fort (SRA).

The woman claimed that the chief general manager of her business called her and said that he wanted to sell some furniture for Rs 21,000 and that he had found a potential buyer on the internet marketplace Quickr who was interested in purchasing them.

The manager requested that the complainant pick up the payment because he does not utilise Paytm for online transactions. He provided her the person's contact information. She concurred and spoke with the individual on July 3.

She received a QR code from a sender who later turned out to be a cyberthief, who said it was for a payment of Rs 21,000 in total. However, the same amount was deducted from the woman's account after she scanned the code and entered her four-digit pin number. She transferred an additional Rs 1,60,000 in four transactions when the man claimed there had been an error and used the same ruse, according to the police.

The fraudster then claimed there had been a mistake and promised to get in touch with her the next day. He called her on July 4 to get her bank information. The stranger requested that she submit Rs 500 for verification after learning her bank information from the man. The woman believes she will receive the money back after sending Rs 500 and, to her relief, receiving Rs 1,000 in return.

The con artist then demanded that she contribute Rs 94,000, claiming that she would receive the entire sum plus Rs 21,000 back. The woman carried on with the transactions until she paid Rs 3.77 lakh.

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 #237. 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