We live in a world full of frauds and con artists. There are plenty of sites where fraudsters try to make money by taking advantage of people. The practice of cheating people online has become very common these days.  Many people are defrauded while using various online transactions.

With a growing number of people using the internet, more and more people are falling victim to online fraud. Fraudsters have become more intelligent and have developed new tricks to fool people regularly. They use various tricks, such as sending an email claiming that the recipient has won a lottery, calling people claiming to be bank employees, etc.

Here's what happened

In the modern world of digital payments and card scams, 'courier scams' have intensified over the past year and presented another worrying trend. Scams involving couriers have been around for years, but fraudsters have become increasingly successful in recent months. They will continue the 'winning' formula as long as they are able to find an unsuspecting victim who will fall for their scam.

 A lot of people have fallen victim to fraudsters’ tricks and lost a lot of money. The main reason why many people have lost money to online frauds is inexperience. Despite being aware of online safety, many people are still unprepared. People blindly follow instructions offered over phone calls by strangers and end up losing money.

A 35-year-old woman in Bangalore, employed by an IT company fell victim to a trick played by fraudsters. The only thing she did was click on the link sent by the fraudsters. She was searching for the FedEx courier service's contact number when the whole thing started. It was urgent for the woman to send a courier to her husband, who lived in Canada. She searched Google for the courier service's contact number. Upon looking at the information she found a phone number claiming to be from FedEx couriers. 

Having thought this was FedEx's original phone number, she contacted them. The person who answered the caller introduced himself as an employee of FedEx customer service and assured the victim that he could assist her with the courier service issue. Fraudsters then instructed the victim to follow a series of steps. After following all the instructions, she agreed to make the payment. In order to make the payment, the fraudster sent her a link. Once she clicked on the link, she was immediately redirected to the Google Pay app where Rs.63,900 was taken from her bank account in six different transactions.

How to avoid this kind of fraud?

1. Please do not provide personal information such as credit card numbers, CVV, OTPs, UPI PINs, and other sensitive information to anyone over the phone.  You won't be contacted by banks or reputed companies requesting your personal information.

2. Please do not Google a company or bank's customer service number. To obtain the company's customer service numbers, check out their official website.

3. You should never click on unknown links sent to you via SMS or email.

4. Accepting or making advance payments is not recommended. Payments can be made and accepted using Vouch. It is a digital escrow service that releases your payment once your desired service is provided. 

How does digital escrow work?

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.

What is the role of Digital Escrow in preventing online fraud in India? 

By securing the payment flows between buyers and sellers through the Vouch Digital Escrow service, smooth transfers of products and payments are assured. Customers can rest assured that they'll be fairly compensated quickly and that their orders will be delivered on time. Fraudsters who request to scan QR codes or get OTP codes or ask you to click on phishing links can be easily avoided by declining and requesting that the transaction be completed through Vouch. 

Vouch Digital Escrow offers non-interest-bearing escrow accounts to all companies in India, and you are kept informed at every stage of the transaction. Payments, shipping, delivery, and fulfillment are all handled under the watchful guidance of Vouch's professionals, so deceit or fraud is impossible. Vouch's professionals will be able to answer all of your questions throughout the entire transaction process. With Vouch, business transactions are transparent, straightforward, and convenient.

This is Fraud Story #78. 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, debit card number, and UPI accounts. 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 and how to act when you're becoming a victim of such a situation. 

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