Generally, people living in major cities are very busy and prefer to complete all of their duties online. Due to the increased use of online transactions, cyber fraud is a likely possibility. Many people lose thousands and lakhs of rupees each day as a result of cyber frauds in cities. Cybercrime is most prevalent in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, and New Delhi. With the increasing popularity of UPI apps like Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm, request money frauds are also on the rise. In this case, if the fraudster knows your phone number, you might become a victim of the fraud. Pune's cybercrime police have seen a spike in the number of such cases in recent months. 

Scammed for Rs.1.64 lakhs

Several people believe that fraudsters are capable of stealing money from bank accounts if they have sensitive information such as card numbers, CVVs, and OTPs. In reality, your bank account can be emptied even if you do not provide these details.

A Pune-based girl posted two advertisements on real estate portals, offering to rent out her apartment, but was fraudulently cheated out of Rs.1.64 lakhs by a fraudster posing as a buyer.

In her complaint to the police, the 53-year-old woman stated that she wanted to rent out her apartment. She placed two online advertisements about her apartment on two different portals. A person contacted her on the cell phone number that she listed along with the advertisement, interested in renting the apartment in a few days. The person told her he was interested in renting her apartment and was willing to deposit rent funds into her bank account through Google Pay.

She was sent some QR codes by the caller to scan in order to receive the payment. When she scanned the QR codes following the caller's instructions, the amount of Rs.1.64 lakhs was transferred from her account to some other bank account in several transactions, without receiving any OTPs.

With the increasing volume of online transactions in India, it is more difficult to avoid online payment fraud using UPI apps or e-wallets. Increasing numbers of Indians make payments using UPI apps and e-wallets, which means online fraud is on the rise. People continue to lose hard-earned money to scammers due to new ways they are finding to steal it. Several of these victims have logged on to social media to share their experiences.

How can this fraud be avoided?

1. In order to avoid this type of fraud, one thing you should always remember is that you do not have to enter a UPI PIN when receiving money. The UPI PIN must only be entered when paying money.

 2. If you receive an unauthorized money request, decline it and inform the company responsible.

 3. People claiming to be army personnel should never be trusted. Using this method, fraudsters get people to trust them and steal their hard-earned cash.

 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.

 Also Check: Fraud Story #80 - Online payment frauds and how to avoid them.


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 #86. 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. 

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