When it comes to an Indian wedding, there are few things that almost anyone can guess to see in the event. People wearing costly jewellery, designer lehengas, and sarees are some of them. There is a mindset of doing wedding shopping before going to such events. There is always a competition going on of looking the best. As today's generation mostly operates online, and also due to lockdown, wedding shopping is also dominated by online stores nowadays. As demands are rising, a lot of sellers have come online on Facebook marketplaces. If you are buying from such stores, make sure to be extra careful, as most of them asking for advance payments turns out to be a fraud. Using a digital escrow system rather than using conventional UPI apps is highly recommended.

Fake Vendor operating on Facebook marketplaces

This is the story of Lovneet Kaur, who was doing online wedding shopping for an upcoming event. She came across a listing named Saloni Shopping on Facebook marketplace. She contacted the owner, and the rest of the conversation continued on whatsapp. After going through the collection, Lovneet chooses two Lehengas that were attractive and reasonable in price to purchase. The owner, Mahi Thakur, asked her to pay in advance and she will place the order. Falling into the trap, Lovneet transferred (INR 4150+2100=)INR 6250 for two lehengas. Even after ten days, the seller didn't share any delivery update about the products. She was reported to leave Lovneet's texts on seen. After one month, Lovneet had no option left other than complaining to cyber cell and posting the details in Facebook fraud groups. 

How to stay safe from fake sellers on social media? 

1. Check and verify all licenses and documents of the seller before buying anything.

2. Pay with Vouch. It is a digital escrow system that releases your payment after the delivery of the products, better than UPI apps.

3. Make sure to connect to a video call with the seller, in order to verify the online listed product, that you are going to order.

4. Try to find sellers through recommendations from your contact or check for positive reviews on their social media pages.

What is a 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 support small businesses in India? 

Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for online sellers and buyers to build a long-lasting relationship by securing 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 orders will be delivered as expected and on schedule.

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 #59. 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 delivered the product or service you contracted to!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 letstalk@iamvouched.com