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 electronics and healthcare items. 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. 

digital escrow

The iPad Scam

A woman from Bangalore was looking for iPads to buy online when she found an advertisement on Quikr. It showed the seller was also from Bangalore. They agreed to a deal for Rs.17,000/-. The seller asked her to transfer half the amount in advance and the remaining half at the time of delivery. The seller promised to deliver the product once the money had been transferred to his account. She provided him with her phone number so that they could communicate more easily by WhatsApp. She received a WhatsApp message from the seller from a number that wasn't from Bangalore. When the woman asked why he had listed Bangalore as his location, he said that he works in Mumbai and it’s his office number. As she needed an iPad and did not want to miss out on a good deal, she paid him Rs.8500/- in advance. After making the payment, she asked him to deliver the iPad, but he responded by requesting that she pay him the full amount or he will not deliver the product. Later, she realized she had been scammed.

Here are a few tips for staying safe on online marketplaces:-

1.Make sure you place your order over a secure connection.

2.Verify the Seller’s/buyer’s presence and reputation.

3.Avoid offers that seem too good to be true.

4.Please do not deal with sellers who ask for personal information, money in advance, or bank details.

5.Fraudsters use fake identification to gain trust. Keep a check on such attempts.

6. 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 buyer 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 transparent 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 promptly, 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 #58. Check back here for more fraud stories and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Escrow payment

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 avoiding frauds like these. Do you have a fraud you would like to report? Please write to us at letstalk@iamvouched.com