The pandemic has created a shift towards a digital world and triggered extreme changes in online shopping trends that are likely to have lasting effects. Since the lockdown, Indian consumers have been entirely dependent on online platforms to purchase home decor, clothes, news, healthcare facilities, and even booking the vaccine. The most common platforms widely used for communication are namely Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram. As soon as consumers shifted to online shopping, companies eventually started offering additional discounts and more lucrative offers to increase sales. Due to the lockdown opportunity, several small businesses started selling through social media as well. As usual, fraudsters took advantage of people looking for goods with lesser prices, and due to the lack of a secure payment system, they could easily scam without being reported. Home decor is something that fascinates all people in the world. When anyone visits our home, it is our responsibility to provide them a complete and refreshing look at our home decor. In order to please visitors or creating an impression, home decor is an essential part of living. Home decor stands for the styling of your home interiors and includes the items you have purchased to decorate and personalize your home.

Lost INR 700/- to fake WhatsApp seller while buying bedsheets

This is the story of Gauri, who has shifted to her new home recently. She was looking for affordable home decor items online. As you know, the established e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra charges a lot than offline vendors. Due to the pandemic situation, offline sellers have started selling online through social media platforms. With the increase of these sellers, scammers have become highly active on these platforms, while targeting genuine customers and posing to them as wholesalers. She came across a google listed business named "Sanganeri Suit Vansh" from Jaipur, Rajasthan. She contacted the owner named Vansh Anchara, through WhatsApp and asked for her requirements of home decor items. After going through all the items, she selected two bedsheets and the seller asked her to transfer the amount through Paytm so that he can start the delivery process. Eventually, Gauri transferred INR 700/- through Paytm and waited for the seller to respond back with delivery details. She made the payment on 4th August 2021, and she has been constantly texting Vansh for months. She understood well that she has been scammed and so she decided to leave an honest review on the google business page of the seller. She also came across several other customers who have been scammed in similar ways. She found the fraud seller has been running several other pages like "Jaipur Prints 21" and scamming new customers every day. After two months, Gauri had no option left other than posting the fraud on social media groups to generate awareness.

How to stay safe from fake sellers on social media? 

1. Check and verify all licenses and documents of the seller before buying anything. 

2. Pay with Vouch, releases your payment after the delivery of the products, better than UPI apps.

3. Make sure to record a video while unboxing your received products, so that any dispute can be resolved easily.

4. Try to find sellers through recommendations from your contact or check for positive reviews on their social media pages.

What is a digital escrow? 

Digital Escrow is the use of a third party account, during a transaction, which holds the money deposited by the person who is purchasing any product/service until the seller fulfills the terms of the agreement. The transacting parties are supervised by the escrow company.

How does Digital Escrow support small businesses in India?

Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for online sellers and buyers to build a long-lasting relationship by securing a clean transfer of product and payment. Buyers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated in a timely manner, and buyers will feel confident that their orders will be delivered as expected and on schedule.

Vouch Digital Escrow uses a non-interest-bearing escrow account for all transactions in India and keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process. There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is Fraud Story #93. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about having control of your money till you've delivered the product or service you contracted to!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about how to avoid frauds like these. Do you have a fraud that you would like to report? Please write to us at