With social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, advertising online has become very easy. As a result of the lockdown, people are heavily dependent on online platforms for purchasing clothes, news, healthcare items, etc. Due to the growing popularity of online shopping, scammers also have more opportunities. Social media ads posed as sellers and advance payments are typical tactics of most of them.
Scammed on Facebook Marketplace.
Kanimozhi Ilayaraja is the victim of a rip-off by a Facebook Marketplace merchant called Jain Sumeet. She ordered some clothes for her son, which were supposed to be delivered within a week. With Google Pay, she made an advance payment of INR 2000/-. After waiting for 2 weeks and not receiving her order, she tried to contact him but there was no response.
All of her calls and messages were unanswered, even his ad from the Facebook Marketplace was taken down. After all of her attempts to reach out to him and to get a refund were unsuccessful.
Kanimozhi never got her money back and had no choice but to share her experience on social media.
How to stay safe from fake sellers on social media?
1. Find out ways in which the seller can be verified - is contact information listed, check the comment section carefully before buying from any social media pages.
2. Why is the seller asking for Advance Payment?
3. Ask the seller how you can trust them and ask for proof.
4. Use Vouch to make sure your payment remains secured in case of any delivery issues or frauds.
5. Using digital escrow platforms as a payment method is preferred. When you pay through an Escrow payment system over the internet, you are not sharing your information with strangers. One such platform for escrow is Vouch
What is digital escrow?
Digital Escrow is the use of a third party account, during a transaction, which holds the money deposited by the person who is purchasing any product/service until the seller fulfills the terms of the agreement. The transacting parties are supervised by the escrow company.
How does Digital Escrow save you from online frauds in India?
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. Buyers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated in a timely manner, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. 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 say no and ask him/her to proceed with the transaction through Vouch.
Vouch Digital Escrow uses a non-interest-bearing escrow account for all transactions in India and 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.
This is Fraud Story #53. 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