The main reason why online shopping is made popular is because of offers, deals, discounts, and cash-backs. You can save quite a bit of money when you shop online as opposed to purchasing in person. But before you accept these offers, you have to be very cautious because there is a possibility that you will be cheated. Online scammers exploit online shoppers with tricks like lottery draws and smart deals. The purpose of this post is to explain how people lose money in fake lucky draws by using an example.
Don't fall for lucky draws by online shopping portals:
During the Republic Day sale, a person from South Delhi bought a Samsung mobile phone worth Rs.37,000. Ten days after purchasing the phone, he received a call from someone who introduced himself as an executive of the online shopping platform from where he has purchased the phone. The representative informed the shopper that he had won an LG smart TV based on his previous shopping behavior. He was required to pay a GST of Rs.5,500 to receive the TV. In believing that the statement was true, the victim moved Rs,5,500 into the fraudster’s bank account. After the payment was made, there was no notification regarding the delivery of the product. After calling the customer care department of the company, he realized that he had been scammed.
A similar incident happened to a woman who was cheated out of Rs.3,500. After she had purchased goods worth Rs.7,000 from the online marketplace, she received a call from someone introducing himself as an executive with the company. She was told by the caller that she had won a smartphone worth Rs 15,000 in the prize draw. A deposit of Rs.3,500 was required in order to receive the phone. She was told the offer would expire if she did not accept it. She paid the fee, believing that this was true. The result was she never received the phone and spent Rs.3500 for nothing.
It is concerning to know that fraudsters have access to all shopping details, including an online shopper's shopping history, email address, and delivery address.
Customers' data from big companies are compromised and modified by fraudsters for the purpose of cheating people in the name of lucky draws and discounts. This became apparent after the Uttar Pradesh Police busted a fake call center in Greater Noida. A total of over one lakh customers were collected through various online shopping portals by the gang.
These stolen data were misused by fraudsters to cheat consumers by providing them with cheap gadgets or offering them prizes for lucky draws.
What can you do to avoid fraud of this kind?
1. It's never a good idea to make a payment if someone claims to be the lucky winner of a lottery. You should never give anyone your sensitive information while on the phone.
2. You must check the domain name of any website before using it. URLs must begin with "https" [not "http"] and must contain a lock icon.
3. 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. If you ever encounter a fraudster who asks you to scan a QR code or ask to get an OTP code or ask 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 #74. Check back here for more fraud stories 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 avoiding frauds like these. Do you have a fraud you would like to report? Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org