In the world of internet, we can get things done in just a snap. While it offers an added convenience, the internet is also a scary place to be in. Cybercrime has been increasing day by day and fraudsters are finding new ways of scamming people. In this article, we will be looking at an OLX related scam.
In such frauds, the fraudster usually posing as an Army/Paramilitary personnel, contacts the person who is trying to sell a product on websites or apps such as OLX and Quikr. He goes through a conversation that seems legit to the victim. Once both the parties have agreed to a certain price, the fraudster claims that he is posted in some inaccessible area of the country and hence, can neither come to take the physical delivery nor can he pay the money in cash.
As he is claiming he is from the Indian Army, people immediately trust him. The fraudster then insists on paying for the product via online payment apps such as Paytm or Google Pay. Now, the fraudster sends a fake screenshot to the seller purporting to show that the said amount has been transferred to the seller's Paytm account. However, the seller learns that they have not received any amount.
The fraudster then brings out his last card of the play. He guides the victim through the process and sends a QR code, which he claims can be used for receiving the money. The victim falls for it, scans the QR code and enters the UPI Pin to pay the amount rather than receiving it.
Now, the victim panics a bit and asks the fraudster to refund the amount. This is the part where the fraudster gets another chance of getting more money out of the victim's pockets. He claims that this was a mistake and that now he is sending a QR code for twice the amount in order to account for the money that has been mistakenly debited from the victim's account.
If the victim falls for it again, the fraudster ends up making thrice the money. These fraudsters repeat this exercise as many times as they can without getting caught.
This way, the victim ends up losing thousands or even lakhs of rupees while trying to sell a product online on OLX or Quikr.
In an exclusive conversation with India TV, Baljeet Singh, Cyber cell Incharge, Gautam Buddh Nagar, shed more light on the scam and warned, "Cybercrime can be prevented if we stop being ignorant. The day we are more alert while shopping online or browsing the web, we will get a lot fewer cybercrime cases than we are getting right now."
He further told us what the people should do when they get trapped in a scam like this. He claims that the victim should first report about this to their bank. They should then reach out to the cyber cell by heading over to their nearest police station. Alternatively, the victim can head over to cybercrime.gov.in to lodge an official complaint.
Also, there are some safety measures that one can follow in order to avoid such a crime. The precautions are as follows:
- Verify credentials of buyer/seller before making or receiving payment.
- Buyer/seller showing unreasonable hurry or urgency is a likely fraudster.
- Don't click on any link or scan a QR Code. You may lose money.
- Avoid accepting or making advance payment. It may be a trap to defraud you.
- Fraudsters use fake identify proof of national institutions to gain confidence and faith. Beware of any such attempt.