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OLX / Quikr Frauds, Demystified


OLX / Quikr Frauds, Demystified :

  • Both OLX and Quikr platforms have emerged as the top go to platforms to sell off appliances and other items that you are using anymore. The lack of understanding of app-based payment services and UPI among the general public are helping fraudsters to make quick money.
  • It might be surprising to hear that majority of the smart and well -educated netizens residing in metro cities are falling to “OLX/Quikr” Scams. Either buyer or seller could be the target on the Platform’s and most of the victims are first-time internet/application users.
  • Payments made through online platforms are robust but susceptible to social engineering frauds. Below are few things you must know about this scam before you think of selling or buying something on OLX or Quikr platforms.

Modus Operandi by Fraudsters as Buyer :

  • (a) You are going to get a call from a probable buyer as soon as you post your advertisement which is the first warning sign.
  • (b) The buyer (fraudster) will never bargain and will accept any price that you posted for the item you have planned to sell.
  • (c) The caller will pretend as if he is trying to send money, he then sends a QR Code to be scanned or requests for an UPI / OTP number to be sent as received by the seller.
  • (d) They use simple social engineering tactics, keep you in continued phone conversations and create panic by urging you to close the deal as early as possible and in the conversation, victims end up handing over the OTP / UPI or scanning the code and lose their money instead of receiving the money.
  • (e) After all possible payments are made by you, they will either block your numbers are switch off their phones.

Modus Operandi by Fraudsters as Seller :

  • (a) You are seeing an advertisement, someone trying to reach you and sell in less than one-fourth value of market price which is the first warning sign.
  • (b) The seller (fraudster) claiming to be an Army Officer or a CISF Officer is in a mad rush to sell the product.
  • (c) The caller will ask you to send the advance money via UPI / Scanning the QR Code as a token of acceptance.
  • (d) They use simple social engineering tactics, keep you in continued phone conversations and create panic by urging you to close the deal as early as possible and ask you to send additional advances like Military Transportation Charges, GST Charges, Inter State Taxes, Airport Parking Charges Etc.
  • (e) After all possible advances are paid, they either block your numbers are even switch off their phones and you will never receive the product.

Few Points to Note :

  • Most of the time these are group of people belong to the same gang calling or one person using voice synthesisers and talking with different SIM Cards, calling claiming to be Military Transportation department officials or Assistant or Brother of the Army Officer who is trying to sell the product.
  • Often fraudsters call up the sellers who are trying to sell vehicles and request for RC Proof and other vehicle documents etc in the pretext of verifying the authenticity and they than create fake IDs and start to upload those vehicle photographs / your photographs and show the RC Copy of the vehicle to the gullible/ genuine buyers on the platform and swindle as much as possible from them.

Tips to Precent the Fraud :

  • Verify Emails and SMS very carefully as the fraudsters usually send fake / spoofed SMS & emails to gain the faith of the victim.
  • Physically check quality products before purchasing it online.
  • Always remember neither the OLX / Quikr nor the bank officials never ask for sensitive financial information like credit/ debit card details, OTPs, bank account details, net banking credentials, UPI PIN, etc.
  • Never pay in Advance for courier charges, processing fees, duty fees, custom amount, etc.
  • Do a proper verification on seller’s credentials like name, website, address, phone number, etc.
  • Transfer the money to the seller only when you receive the goods and make sure if you do the transfer through the recommended payment methods of the OLX / Quikr
  • Fraudsters deposit extra amount than the actual negotiated price of the product intentionally and in the pretext of refunding the money they loot money from the sellers by the way of requesting you to scan the QR code or alternatively requests you to send your UPI or OTP Password
  • Never Transfer money while doing phone conversations
  • To receive the money you don’t need to scan the QR code or share the OTP / UPI numbers.