There are a lot of sellers on OLX who post daily updates about products and win your trust. But once you order you get to know their true colors.
Digital payments have made selling over distance easier, but it has never been safe!
Digital Payment - Faster yet unsafe!
After the widespread adoption of digital payments in recent years, countries like India have become increasingly adept at digital payments. There has been a substantial increase in citizens using cashless transactions in India's suburbs and hinterlands, including through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Internet Banking, and other means. India is poised to experience a 78 percent increase in digital payments in the coming months, according to reports
The 7.22 lakh OLX fraud
An OLX fraud was reported to the police on February 29, when two men allegedly defrauded a man of 7.22 lakh in a fraud involving property and electronics, sold at a substantial discount. It was made on Monday evening at Andheri, although the case was registered last August. A case has been filed under the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act relevant to their offenses.
A man browsed some products online between July 25 and August 8, last year, on a portal called OLX, where users can sell their products. Then, he stumbled on an offer where a man was selling TVs, washing machines, home-theater systems, two cameras, five mobile phones, Apple watches, and laptops, iPads, soundbars, and Macbooks for as cheap as 7.22 lakh rupees. The complainant found it to be a good deal and wired the money in a series of transactions to obtain the products, only to be cheated and never receive them.
The victim realized he had been tricked and went to the police, where an account of cheating was recorded against unknown persons at Versova police station. As a result of the police probe, technical investigations such as tracking the mobile phone were conducted.
According to the police, the accused are based in an Andheri highrise. After laying a trap, two suspects--Salman Mohd Israr Shaikh and Mohsin Ahmed Javed Khan were arrested on Monday.
After interrogating the duo, police learned that they were involved in multiple cases of cheating involving the exact same tactic. A lot of victims have been duped under the pretense of selling goods on OLX under the watch of the duo. The police are now trying to ascertain if the duo had any accomplices. Under the Indian Penal Code section 420 and Information Technology section 411 they were both charged with cheating with common intention. Police remanded them in custody after they were presented in a local court.
Frauds over OLX
More than 4000 cases of fraud were reported over the last year amongst which in maximum cases the conmen posed as army officials. In a lot of cases, the victims were unable to get the lost money back.
How do they win trust? - AADHAR and ID CARDS
Maximum of scammers over the internet who pose as army officials have fake identity proofs such as Aadhar cards. They often send pictures of their fake Aadhar to the victims to win their trust and in maximum cases, they succeed.
What to do if you get a call from such a scammer?
- Verify details of buyer/seller before proceeding to payment.
- Any individual showing urgency or not waiting for a reasonable amount of time is likely to be a scammer.
- Don't scan a QR Code or visit a link sent by anybody over the internet.
- Avoid accepting or making advance payment. Accept only if the payment is made through digital escrow like Vouch.
- Fraudsters use fake identification to gain trust. Keep a check on such attempts.
How does Digital Escrow save you from online frauds?
This is Fraud Story #47. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and scams that you can protect yourself from.
Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. 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 how to avoid frauds like these. Do you have a fraud that you would like to report? Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org