There has been a huge impact on India's online food delivery industry due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. In this era of the digital economy, we have access to an incredible range of delivery options, with apps that can summon fine dining and fast food in minutes. Companies like Swiggy and Zomato are providing instant food delivery services. Online food delivery services allow consumers to order foods online and have them delivered to their homes. There are several ways to pay on the application or website, as well as a large selection of cuisines to choose from.

 A real-life example:

In the event of a problem with a purchased product or service, we call the customer service number of the company. Companies have customer support teams set up to investigate complaints and resolve them. The customer support team can be contacted either over the phone or via email. It is more common for people to contact customer service numbers than to send an email; because issues can be clarified over the phone more easily.

Even though customer support helps resolve issues, you have to be very careful when contacting customer support. The reasons for this are that fraudsters have set up fake customer service numbers in order to cheat people out of their hard-earned money. When you contact one of these fake customer service numbers, your issue won't be resolved; instead, you'll lose your money.

 Through Zomato, a user from Hyderabad ordered 'special chicken biryani'. Unfortunately, he received an order of 'sambar rice' instead of what he ordered. After becoming dissatisfied with the service offered by Zomato, he decided to contact their customer support team and searched Google for their customer care number.  As of now, Zomato does not have a customer care number. As a result, he was provided with a fake number posted by a fraudster. When the fraudster picked up, he introduced himself as a customer service representative of Zomato and apologized for the inconvenience. The fraudster shared a link of a QR code and asked the victim to scan the QR code to get the refund. A few seconds after scanning the QR code, Rs.50,000 was debited from his bank account. There have been many instances of people losing money to fake customer care numbers; they were set up by fraudsters. 

In order to avoid this type of fraud, you should never trust customer service numbers that show up on Google. Fraudsters pose as customer service representatives of companies and banks on the Internet. If you search on Google for customer service numbers from any company, these numbers will appear. These numbers are often picked up by scammers posing as customer service representatives. They will ask for your personal banking information, in order to resolve the issue. You could lose money from your bank account if you provide this information.

Here are a few tips for staying safe online.

1. In most cases, customer service numbers are provided by the company in the application itself. Don't go to Google to find the numbers.

2. Don't give out your personal information, or your bank details to people who ask for them. Except if they are trustworthy.

3. Using fake identification makes it easier for fraudsters to gain trust. Make sure you don’t fall for such attempts.

4. 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.

What is digital escrow?

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.

How does Digital Escrow save you from online frauds in India? 

The Vouch Digital Escrow service ensures a smooth transfer of products and payments while enhancing trust between buyers and sellers. Customers will feel confident that they will be fairly compensated quickly, and that their order will be delivered as expected and on time. In case you ever encounter a fraudster who asks you to scan a QR code or asking to get an OTP code, or asking you to click on phishing links, you can simply decline and request that the transaction be completed through Vouch. 

For all businesses in India, Vouch Digital Escrow utilizes a non-interest-bearing escrow account, and at every step of the process, you are kept informed. You can always count on Vouch's professionals during all steps of the transaction process to answer all your questions. Since all payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of Vouch's professionals, there is no scope for deceit or fraud. Vouch makes business transactions transparent, straightforward, and convenient.

This is Fraud Story #72. 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