We’re all so used to the comforts of modern technology. And at times, we forget that with all the comforts and ease, there are many drawbacks as well. Online scams aren’t actually a new phenomenon and over the years, the scammers have gotten smarter. We have heard about a number of cases wherein sellers have duped the buyers. Now, in a new case, a buyer is trying to cheat the seller online. An OLX user Pavithra came across an online scammer who tried to rob her of Rs 10,000 and it was only her presence of mind that saved her from getting cheated. The scam was carried out very smoothly and easily and would not have raised any eyebrows had not Pavithra just taken a moment to cross-check facts before doing as the buyers said.
The incident occurred on July 21. Pavithra has listed a pram for selling on OLX and it had been over a month of posting the advertisement. A buyer called Pavithra enquiring about the pram and on requesting him to visit and check the pram, he declined saying that he wanted the pram for his sister in another city. The deal was finalized and Pavithra shared her account details with the buyers. Within moments, she received an SMS stating that Rs 13,500 had been credited to her account instead of Rs 3,500, the actual price of the pram. The buyer soon messaged her saying it was an error and asking for the Rs 10,000 back. ALSO READ: Indians sell approximately 4 million pre-owned mobile phones every year: Survey
While Pavithra had no reasons to doubt the buyer, he got suspicious when he asked her to immediately transfer the money over Paytm and suggested another number. She decided to pause a bit and cross-check. On accessing her bank account, she realized that no money had in fact been credited at all and the SMS sent was a fake one. While the buyer repeatedly asked her to transfer the amount, she refused and informed him that no amount had been credited to her account at all. Since then, the buyer refused to answer calls. Realizing she has been duped, she reached out to OLX as well as filed a complaint at the nearest police station. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 for Rs 1,099: Beware of this new WhatsApp scam
Pavithra took to Facebook to talk about the incident and her post has since then gone viral, being shared nearly 5,000 times and receiving over 600 comments. Pavithra seems to have since then deleted her Facebook account but her post is still visible online. The entire incident teaches us to be aware and pay attention while transacting online. It is always better to cross-check and exercise caution when buying or selling online. Pavithra even shared images of the WhatsApp chat she had with the buyer. ALSO READ: Bengaluru citizens falling prey to online job scams amid massive job layoffs: Report
An OLX spokesperson responded to the incident saying, “The safety and well being of our users is of utmost importance to us. As soon as we learnt of the incident we blocked the user s account from our platform. This ensures that the accused can neither reach out to the said user, nor to any other OLX user. We are grateful to Ms. Pavithra for informing us about this incident, and admire her quick thinking. Unfortunately, we live in a world where scams and cyber-crimes are on the rise. We need more people like her who are aware, smart, and vigilant. Her actions ensured not only her safety but also that of so many other users. We advise all our users to read the safety tips issued by OLX. We also advise our users to inform the police immediately in such cases so the accused can get caught. When the police reaches out to us, we will support the investigation in whatever way we can.”
(This story has been updated with OLX’s statement)