It has become a typical occurrence for people to lose money to con artists posing as bank representatives and demonstrating anxiety about having their debit cards or accounts blocked. On reselling websites like Olx, there have also been incidents of consumers being conned when attempting to buy a used item. But have you heard of anyone being conned while making an online beer purchase? A young lawyer from Mumbai lost a huge sum of money—Rs 44,782—in numerous transactions to a con artist posing as the proprietor of a wine shop. The attorney was trying to order beer online for delivery to his home.
The lawyer searched online for a beer store's phone number, and when he contacted it, the con artist duped him into paying for two bottles of beer upfront. Then he demanded further payments via QR codes for creating bills and assured them of a return. By sending QR codes for specific payments, the fraudster tricked the lawyer into making multiple payments under the pretense of returning the money.
The victim complied with the con artist's instructions up until he got a whiff of something fishy, but by that time it was too late because the lawyer had already sent the con artist over Rs 44,000. Eventually, the con artist stopped returning phone calls and blocked the lawyer's number. The attorney allegedly made a police report after that.
Here's how to avoid falling victim to such scams:
- Never ever send money via a QR code delivered through WhatsApp.
- If you phone an unidentified number to place an online order, avoid paying in advance. Whenever you can, go shopping.
- Only ever make purchases from reputable, authorized websites.
- Call 1930 right away and share the transaction details if you still made a mistake and lost money to cybercriminals so that the money can be recovered.
In addition, there are several safety precautions that one might do to prevent such a crime. The following are the precautions:
- Before sending or receiving money, check the buyer's or seller's credentials.
- A buyer or seller that acts hurriedly or urgently is probably a scammer.
- Never open any links or scan any QR codes. Money loss is possible.
- Avoid taking or giving money in advance. It might be a ruse to cheat you.
- To gain trust and confidence, fraudsters use phony identification documents issued by national institutions. Any such attempt should be avoided.
How to identify if a buyer or seller is fake?
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.