Our everyday lives have been changed by technology. Thanks to the internet, it is possible to do a lot of things online now. Buying clothes, paying bills, and even doing banking online is now possible. In addition to all this, you can also adopt pets online.

The popularity of online transactions has contributed to the rise in online fraud.  Online transactions have resulted in many people losing their hard-earned money to fraudsters. Here we will discuss a story of a technician in Bangalore who lost Rs 40,000 by adopting a dog online.

Here's what happened

A 53-year-old Bangalore technician also an animal lover was searching online for a dog to adopt. During this time, he discovered an organization in Bangalore, Karnataka which rescued and rehabilitated dogs. He found a phone number while reading more about this organization. He planned to call that number and get more information. After he dialed the number, a person answered the phone and explained he was a member of an organization that could provide all the help he needed in order to adopt a dog. The person on the call claimed that he was from Karnataka.

In order to proceed further, the technician had to pay Rs.10/- through Paytm to two different accounts, Rs.5/- each. The fee was required in order to meet the owner of the dog and discuss the adoption process. During the call, the person asked the technician to click on a link sent to his mobile number. It was instructed that he make the payments through that link. According to the caller's instructions, the technician transferred Rs.5/- each to the number given by the caller. As soon as he used the link to make the payment, Rs10/- was withdrawn from his account.

He received a message from his bank after 5 minutes saying Rs.40,000/- had been deducted from his account. Upon hearing that Rs.40,000/- was deducted from his bank account, he immediately called the organization but nobody answered the phone.

After this incident, he filed a police report and posted about his experience online.

What can be done to prevent this kind of fraud?

1. Many fake websites have been set up with the intent of cheating innocent people online. Hence, you should make sure that the website you transact on is genuine before you transact.


2. You shouldn't dial a helpline number you find on Google. To collect the helpline number, go to the official website instead.


3. Always be cautious when clicking on links that you receive via SMS or email.  Do not make any payments using those links.


4. You should not give anyone your personal information via telephone or message.


5. 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.


Also check: Fraud Story #50 - Looking for a pet online isn't safe anymore 


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 #84. 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 letstalk@iamvouched.com