The OLX army scam
Every second person who tries to sell something through OLX and Facebook has got a call from a person who claims to be an Army officer living in the same city as the seller.
It's easy for people to get a thousand different pictures of army officials on the internet - use them as profile pictures and scam the innocent sellers.
They've listed a hundred different ways to scam the sellers over the internet and more than 80% of people agree to have been a victim of such a scam.
The Fraud Story
The victim of this scam paid an advance fee to book a car on the online sale/purchase website OLX and was robbed of Rs 46,500. In his complaint to the police, Pawan Kumar, a resident of Shiv Shakti Colony in Pinjore, alleges that on April 18, he purchased the vehicle for registration PB-08-CB-2626 from OLX.
Bijender Kumar, the owner of the car, was contacted and the deal was finalized. The victim was also asked to deposit Rs 15,000 as a booking fee by Bijender, who disclosed his Army canteen smart card details to gain trust.
An account belonging to Rubi Kumari Jadon was credited with Rs 15,000 by the victim. The car's documentation was to be completed in Chandigarh's Sector 38 by April 20, which Bijender required as a deposit of Rs 31,500. After depositing the amount, the victim was notified that it had been returned.
During the victim's visit to Sector 38, no one was present. Despite his attempts to contact the accused, he couldn’t reach him.
Pinjore police station registered a case under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (cheating and dishonestly inducing property delivery) and began investigating the matter.
The investigation is underway. Sub-inspector Anant Kumar told reporters, "The case has been registered. We have investigated the complaint." Experts warned individuals not to reveal their bank account details until they meet them face-to-face and made the final deal.
Frauds over OLX
More than 4000 cases of fraud were reported over the last year amongst which in maximum cases the conmen posed as army officials. In a lot of cases, the victims were unable to get the lost money back.
How do they win trust? - AADHAR and ID CARDS
Maximum of scammers over the internet who pose as army officials have fake identity proofs such as Aadhar cards. They often send pictures of their fake Aadhar to the victims to win their trust and succeed in maximum cases.
What to do if you get a call from such a scammer?
- Verify details of buyer/seller before proceeding to payment.
- Any individual showing urgency or not waiting for a reasonable amount of time is likely to be a scammer.
- Don't scan a QR Code or visit a link sent by anybody over the internet.
- Avoid accepting or making advance payment. Accept only if the payment is made through Vouch. In case you are the one who's supposed to pay - Do it through Vouch.
- Fraudsters use fake identification of the army to gain trust. Keep a check on such attempts.
This is Fraud Story #23. 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 avoiding frauds like these. Do you have a fraud you would like to report? Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org