Some of the new tactics that con artists have started using in recent years to defraud people of their hard-earned money include sending links through payment apps, disseminating messages about unpaid electricity or other bills, getting in touch with sellers through OLX or other applications, and providing loan options at lower interest rates.
Unknowingly sharing your net banking information
Krishna, a native of West Delhi, was searching for quick money-making opportunities. He joined a WhatsApp group where he saw a post about a quick online loan. Krishna dialed the person's number and was given a link to download the Ring app. He got it downloaded.
He sent his OTP to the person on the other end of the line throughout the verification process. He had no idea that he was giving a total stranger his net banking information. As his back balance decreased to almost zero over the course of the next few hours, much to his utter horror, he realized he had made a mistake.
Similar to this, there are pan-Indian organizations who prey on the trusting by setting up bogus online stores under the names of well-known clothing or technology brands. Additionally, they possess a large number of fictitious websites with plausible domain names, like aggarwalandsons.co.in, hindsolution.co.in, bansaltraders.com, sunsolar.com, and others. They specifically go after customers who want to buy branded goods for less money.
How a man lost 28,000 while trying to buy an AC on OLX
When South Delhi resident Kushal Sharma tried to purchase an AC, the con artists tricked him. He lost Rs 28,472 after falling into one of these fraudulent websites' traps.
He paid in advance in the hopes of receiving the household appliance at a far lower cost than on the open market, but that did not materialize and he did not obtain any delivery. His attempts to get in touch with the seller proved fruitless because the provided mobile phone number was constantly off.
In Delhi-NCR, there has been a peculiar case of con artists preying on those who post advertisements in local colonies about their missing children or other family members.
After her daughter, 17, went missing, Babita (name changed), a resident of north-western Delhi's Rohini neighborhood, was in disbelief. In this regard, she reported a missing person to the police.
The next day, after filing the complaint, she got a call from an unidentified number. The caller on the other end told her that he had located the missing girl and requested that she transfer Rs 5,000—or the cost of travel—to his Paytm account.
The expected payment was made by the family, but the daughter who went missing never showed up. They discovered that they were being held captive by a group that frequently preys on desperate individuals seeking assistance.
Similar to this, in OLX or QR code-related scams, the con artist approaches the individual seeking to sell a commodity on websites or apps like OLX, Quikr, and so forth, and agrees to pay the price requested for the said good while pretending as an army or paramilitary officer.
The scammer says that because he is stationed in a remote section of the nation, he is unable to accept the delivery in person or make a cash payment. As a result, he must send the money electronically.
After reaching an agreement, he sends the seller a phony screenshot that appears to show that the agreed-upon sum has been sent to the seller's Paytm account (created using the Paytm Spoof App or other similar apps).
However, when the seller asserts that the payment has not been received, the fraudster makes an excuse about a technical problem before sending the victim a QR code.
He walks the victim through each step and forces them to use Google Pay to upload the relevant screenshot. The money is debited from the victim's account as soon as the victim uploads the screenshot and enters the UPI pin on Google Pay; it is not credited.
It goes further than this. When the victim brings this up with the fraudster, the latter claims that this was an error and that he is now sending a QR code for twice the amount (to make up for the money that was unintentionally debited from the victim's account), and as soon as the victim scans the QR code, the amount is once more debited from his/her account.
The fraudster engages the victim in this practice as many times as possible before disconnecting.
As a result, the victim who was trying to sell goods on OLX, Quikr, etc., lost several thousand or even lakhs of rupees.
How to identify if a buyer or seller is fake?
- When a buyer pretends to have transferred you money via Google-Pe, Phone-Pe, etc., but the money is really taken from your account.
- The buyer requests that you ship the item before they pay for it or offers phony payment documentation.
- The buyer will request the item without first checking it and will deceive by giving fake payment confirmations, messages, etc.
- Demand for non-cash payment methods: Usually, the buyer is adamant about utilizing a cheque. Note that banks are not liable if cheques bounce.
- The buyer requests personal data such as your ID, bank account information, email address, and debit or credit card number.
How to avoid getting scammed?
1. Verify details of buyer/seller before proceeding to payment.
2. Any individual showing urgency or not waiting for a reasonable amount of time is likely to be a scammer.
3. You should never scan a QR code, share an OTP, or visit a link given by anyone on the internet.
4. Your One Time Password (OTP), UPI pin, and other secret information should not be shared on WhatsApp. Never provide banking information if anyone asks you to and always contact your bank. There is a possibility of fraud here.
5. It is recommended that digital escrow platforms be used for payment. When making an online payment with Escrow, you do not share your financial information with anyone. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch.
Digital Escrow Service In India.
Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch.
Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow 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.
Check back here to learn more about Escrow and how to protect yourself from fraud.
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!
As you're now aware of the importance of online safety, let's get your transactions secure on Vouch. It's just a click away.