Modern technology makes many things possible to do online with a click of a button. Online purchasing or selling is a popular choice for many people. There are many advantages to modern technology, but there are also many drawbacks. A tidal wave of online fraud is sweeping the world, and fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated daily. As a part of this blog, we will discuss how OLX users can get scammed by fraudsters.

Online marketplace OLX is great for buying and selling goods such as furniture, electronics, bikes, and cars. An advertisement on the website is required by the seller before making a sale. Despite this platform being extremely beneficial to many buyers and sellers, fraudsters are using it to make quick money.

What happened with Arvind Kejriwal’s daughter?

Harshita Kejriwal, the daughter of Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, was allegedly duped for Rs.34,000 by a man who approached her on OLX as a buyer for a sofa she had listed for sale.

Harshita Kejriwal, the daughter of Delhi's CM, tried to sell a second-hand sofa on OLX, a popular service for buying and selling second-hand items. On the platform, she was approached by a buyer and they agreed to work together. When she finalized the deal with a person, he asked her to scan a bar code to transfer the agreed amount of sofa to her account. His first step was to transfer a small amount into her account to gain her trust. In the next step, the buyer sent her a QR code and instructed her to scan it in order to receive the amount fixed in the deal, but instead, Rs.20,000 was deducted from her account after she followed the buyer's instructions. When she started asking questions about the amount getting deducted from her account, the man explained that by mistake an incorrect QR code had been sent to her, so he sent a new link, asking her to follow the same procedure. However, another Rs 14,000 was deducted from her account when she scanned the QR code.

How does this scam work?

As in the case of Delhi CM's daughter, fraudsters use UPI after gaining the trust of the victim. The increasing use of apps like Google Pay, PhonePe, and others has made UPI one of the most convenient methods for transferring money. The process is simple, quick, and easy. However, fraudsters are taking advantage of users' lack of technical knowledge to scam them.

On the pretext of buying the item listed by the victim, the fraudsters send a QR code or a payment request. They may also exhibit a sense of urgency and be willing to pay even before checking the item, to ensure they don't miss out on the deal. The intention is always to scam the user. To complete the transaction, the scammer either asks the user to scan the QR code or accept the payment request.

Lack of knowledge or urgency to sell a product often leads victims to forget that receiving payments doesn't require them to do anything, and they fall for the scam. If they scan the QR code or accept the request, money is automatically debited from their account. As soon as this happens, the fraudster simply vanishes from the scene.


How to safely sell on OLX?

1. Always avoid sending copies of your documents, personal information, and most importantly your financial information.

2. Do not deal with buyers who continually change their meeting location or call from multiple mobile numbers.

3. If the buyer is rushing to make the payment, ask them to check the product in a public place that both of you have chosen.

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 #83 - How to avoid frauds on OLX


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 #96. 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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