If we have a question regarding the product purchased or service we have availed, the first thing we do is contact the customer service department of the company. The objective of each company's customer support team is to investigate customer complaints and resolve them. You can contact Customer Support by either calling or emailing. As issues can easily be explained over the phone, people prefer calling the customer service numbers rather than sending an email.

Even though the customer support team helps resolve issues, you should be very cautious while calling the customer support team. The reason for this is that fraudsters have set up fake customer service numbers as a way to rip off people. If you call these fake customer support numbers, you will not get your issue resolved; instead, you will end up losing money.

Indian Navy sailor defrauded of Rs 1.97 lakh online

On the Internet, fraudsters post their numbers as customer service numbers of a variety of companies and banks. These numbers will appear in Google searches when you search for the customer service number for any company. You will be contacted by fraudsters posing as customer service agents if you dial up these numbers. Fraudsters will ask you to provide personal banking details to resolve the issue. By giving away this information, you may be deprived of money from your bank account. 

Harendra Kumar Subhash Prasad (25), an electrical sailor in the Indian Navy and stationed in INS Gomati, staying at the naval dockyard. According to the police, he wanted to transfer Rs.4,000 to his friend through Google Pay. When he conducted the transfer Rs.4000 got deducted from his account but it did not get credited to his friend’s account. In order to cancel the transaction, Prasad contacted the Google Pay's customer care department. 

In his police report, Prasad stated that his call was answered by a person who claimed to be from the company's customer service. Prasad was instructed by the person, to get an application called Quick Weaver Support Team from the Google Playstore. Following the instructions, Prasad downloaded the application and created an ID, which was followed by an attempt into granting access to his account, he stated in his complaint.

In the next step, Prasad was asked to enter the first five digits of his mobile number in the application. The customer service representative then asked him to provide his UPI PIN (Personal Identification Number), which he initially refused to do, but agreed after they assured him that he would receive a refund immediately. In his police statement, Prasad said that as soon as he entered the four-digit PIN, Rs.94,714, which is also his mobile number's first five digits, was deducted from his account.

Despite Prasad's complaints to the customer service official, he was persuaded into sharing five one-time passwords sent to his phone, the police report said. Sadly, Prasad lost another Rs 1.03 lakhs. The person posing as a customer service representative disconnected the phone, and Prasad was unable to reach them.

Identifying and avoiding this fraud:

1. Never tell anyone your password to your internet banking. Don't give anyone your personal information over the phone, such as credit card numbers, CVVs, OTPs, UPI PINs, etc.  There will be no contact with banks or reputable companies requesting personal information.

2.  If you want to call a company or bank's customer service number, do not Google it. You can find the company's customer service numbers on their official website.

3. When you send money, the OTP is only required, not when getting money. Fraudsters have defrauded many people by stating that they must share OTPs to receive money into their bank accounts.

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 #72 - Defrauded by calling customer care!


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? 

Vouch Digital Escrow ensures the smooth transfer of products and payments to buyers by securing transactions between buyers and sellers. Customer orders will be delivered on time and customers will be fairly compensated quickly. Fraudsters will usually ask for QR codes or OTP codes or ask you to click on phishing links, but you can easily avoid them by declining and requesting the transaction to be completed with Vouch. 

Vouch Digital Escrow offers non-interest-bearing escrow accounts for companies in India, and you will be kept in the loop throughout the process. During the whole process of payment, shipping, and deliveries, Vouch's professional team continuously watches over every aspect, so that cheating and fraud are impossible. Vouch's professionals will answer all of your questions throughout the transaction. With Vouch, business transactions are transparent, streamlined, and convenient.



This is Fraud Story #89. 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