Don’t Become a Victim of Online Shopping Frauds :-
- In the past couple of years, we have read and reported several instances wherein online shopping buyers claimed to have received stones instead of iPod in their delivery; or receiving coconut, Vim bar instead of their phone. But what if the claim was false and the buyers intentionally reported such instances to dupe the e-commerce portal? but, it can lead to an arrest now a days.
- Online shopping frauds jump 6-fold in over 2 years, due the social engineering crimes carried out by the scammers impersonating themselves as buyers and sellers, for the purpose of today’s article lets discuss more about the Fake Defence Personal Frauds that’s happening while Online Shopping especially in the Classified Sales (Second Sales or Re Purposed).
Fake Defence Personal Scams (Posing as Buyer as well as Seller) – Mostly active on Classified Sales :-
- Scammer impersonating as defence personnel and posting fake advertisements as a seller : Modus operandi is that the scammer will post fake Ads of Cars, Bikes with lucrative prices and then they will share fake defence (Army, CISF, CRP) identity proofs to gain your trust. After they gaining the trust, they will ask for advance payment for the product as token amount, couriers / transportation charges, etc. Once the payments are made will stop responding / block all your future calls and messages.
- Scammer impersonating as defence personnel and contacting as a buyer : These fraudsters will contact you as buyers and agree to your asking price even without bargaining with you and they will make a payment of small amount through UPI apps to gain your trust and act as a genuine buyer. After sending the small amount, they will send you QR code for a bigger amount and after Scanning the provided QR codes will deduct money from your account. Sometimes the scammer might send you a short link or google form which will need details of UPI / OTP Details to be filled in.
Approaching Consumer Forums and Cyber Crime Cell :-
- You can approach Consumer Forum www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in , a person who buys any goods or services for a consideration, which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under deferred payment also includes the user with approval of such goods or beneficiary of services. Consumers should maintain papers, documents – bills, warranty card, agreement copy, brochures and working manuals etc. Consumer must also display evidences of phone calls / emails requesting a delivery, refund or a replacement of the product or service that was purchased online.
- Alternatively consumer may also report to cybercrime issue by logging on to www.cybercrime.gov.in or visit the nearest Cyber Crime Police Station.
Warning Signs of a Possible Online Shopping Fraud :-
- A product or the service is advertised at an unbelievably low price and have benefits or features that sound too good to be true.
- The other party insists on immediate payment, or payment by electronic funds transfer.
- They may insist that you pay up-front for vouchers before you can access a cheap deal or a give-away.
- Fake Social media based stories are newly evolving and selling products at very low prices online which is not true.
- The seller is based overseas, or the seller does not allow payment through a secure payment service such as PayPal or a credit / debit card transaction.
- They will ask you share the OTP or scan the QR Code or fill up the Google forms or short links for receiving the payments.
How to Safeguard Yourself from Online Shopping Fraud :-
- Read the Reviews, Consider the reputation and Read Return Polices.
- Always communicate with the inbuilt tools of the application and never communicate outside of the application.
- Look for a Secure Payment (https:// – URL with a Key Symbol).
- Never share OTP / PIN Numbers in any form, to the buyer or seller.
- Never do the Payment Transaction while you are on the call.
- Do not click and fill up any Short Links provided by the buyer or seller.
- Do not fill google forms links provided by the buyer or seller.
- Do not the Scan the QR Code, If you are scanning means money is getting debited from your account.