There are several online marketplaces offering services and goods like electronics, furniture, bikes, cars, and more, such as OLX and Quikr. These platforms require sellers to place ads on the websites. Buying and selling used products online have been made easier by these platforms. You need to contact the seller and make a purchase if you like the product advertised on the platform. Sadly, online marketplaces are also used by fraudsters to cheat people and earn fast cash.
A variety of tricks have been developed by fraudsters to deceive buyers and sellers on OLX. Throughout the country, many people, including the smart, well-educated residents of big cities, fall victim to this type of fraud. Criminals use UPI and digital payment systems to trick people into this kind of fraud. Fraudsters have taken advantage of the lack of understanding about these payments to make quick money.
How do people get cheated on OLX
There are fraudsters who contact sellers who have advertised on OLX and Quikr. The seller usually receives a call within moments after posting the advertisement. Fraudsters claim they are looking for products for which advertisements have been posted. Rather than a bargain, the caller will agree to the price quoted by the seller. Normally, genuine buyers bargain when buying on OLX.
A woman wanted to sell her sofa set. She posted an advertisement on OlX and listed the price for the set at Rs.16000. Within an hour, she received a message on OlX from someone interested in purchasing the set. Even before he asked if the price was negotiable, he agreed to pay the full amount and requested her WhatsApp number. He seemed in a hurry to finish the payment. The lady said she would consider his offer and get back to him the next day.
Having considered his offer and in need of selling the sofa set, the lady agreed to make the deal. To pay half of the money in advance, the person asked for her number. In order to receive payment, he sent her a Google Pay QR code via WhatsApp, which she had to scan to receive the payment. The lady noticed something was wrong when her account was showing that the amount would be debited. Once she realized he was trying to scam her, she immediately canceled the transaction. She then blocked the fraudster and reported it to OLX.
In this type of fraud. After the seller agrees to sell the product, the buyer promises to pay the entire sum or booking amount via Google Pay, PhonePe, or other UPI apps. This is where cheating occurs. The fraudster instead of sending money will request money from the seller by using the "Request Money" option. It is during these times that many people are duped. They simply click on the message to send money to the fraudster's account without doing their research or reading the message sent by the UPI apps properly.
How to stay safe from this fraud?
1. In cases where the buyer does not bargain or is very eager to pay a large amount for the product, you have to remain alert. Real buyers usually bargain when they buy products.
2. You must meet the buyer or seller in person before you make an offer on OLX or Quikr.
3. Please do not share the OTP or any personal banking information with anyone. OTPs are sent only when you transfer money from your bank account, not when you receive money from someone.
4. Using a digital escrow platform is recommended for making or receiving payments. With Escrow, you do not need to share any of your financial information with anyone. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch.
How does digital escrow work?
With digital escrow, a third-party account holds the buyer's money until the seller complies with the contract terms. An escrow company supervises all parties involved in the transaction.
What is the role of Digital Escrow in preventing online fraud in India?
A smooth transfer of products and payment is assured with the Vouch Digital Escrow service, which secures payment flows between buyers and sellers. We can assure customers that they will be fairly compensated quickly and their orders will be delivered on time. Whenever fraudsters request QR codes or OTP codes or ask you to click on links that are phishing, you can avoid them easily by declining and requesting that the transaction be completed via Vouch.
With Vouch Digital Escrow, you can open a non-interest-bearing escrow account for companies in India, and you will be kept in the loop at every stage of the process. All payments, shipping, and deliveries are handled under the watchful guidance of Vouch's professional team, so cheating and fraud are impossible. All of your questions will be answered by Vouch's professionals throughout the entire transaction. Vouch makes business transactions transparent, streamlined, and convenient.
This is Fraud Story #83. Check back here for more fraud stories and scams that you can protect yourself from.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org