Yes, you read it right! It’s weird to believe that people are losing money while selling their stuff on classified advertising platforms like Olx, and Quikr. But this is happening, and well-educated citizens are falling prey for the new “Olx/Quikr scam”. The lack of understanding of new app-based payment services and UPI among ordinary people are helping fraudster to cheat.
Let me tell you a story of a Guwahati girl, Lutfa, who escaped from a fraud recently.
The girl posted an ad on Olx as her 2rk room was empty, and started receiving a lot of responses from people. She replied to all of them, and among them, a person introduced himself as an Indian Army Officer who recently got transferred to Guwahati Airport. She believed the person and gave him all the details of the room. He then asked her to send the room pictures on Whatsapp, saying the pictures are not clear in Olx. That is how he acquired her phone number.
She then forwarded the pictures to his WhatsApp, he called back and said that he wants to take the deal and wants to stay in the room from next month and is ready to pay the required advance/ rent money. After receiving his IDs, she shared her Google pay number.
Everything was fine until he said, we have rules and we need to show the document of the house owners as the room rents are to be paid by their department as House Rent Allowance(HRA). She shared her husband’s ID with the person and after discussing the incident with her husband. They found it a bit suspicious, so she deleted the ID that she shared on Whatsapp.
She immediately received a call from the person asking why she deleted the ID. So, she politely replied, I don’t want to give the room to you. Please, find another room.
Hearing that, the man started scolding her in slang language. This made her suspicion come true and she came to know that he was a fraud.
Now, what Lutfa told us is, “The ID provided was of a Defence Personel and was in Tamil/ Telegu language. But the person who called me had a UP/ Bihar accent, which made me suspicious. Secondly, without checking the rooms he was ready to pay the asked amount. Generally, people bargain a lot when they need rent rooms. I also searched the name in the ID in google and found a complaint(COMPLAINT LINK) against the person in Consumer Forum.”
Lutfa added,” The fraudster introduced himself to me as Akshay Kumar Chennamaneni, S/O- Nagender Rao Chennamaneni. He used +917811841382 to call me and message me on Whatsapp. I don’t know what he could have done with my ID card. Or maybe I would have been a victim too just like the others, of which I hear in the news every day. I shared my story with Guwahati Times hoping people will come to know about this fraud. ”
Notably, to stay safe while selling things on Olx, Quikr, always ask the buyer to meet in person. They have to meet you anyhow too but the item. As far as possible, avoid giving them your home address if it is not a must.
What are the indications that a buyer is a potential fraud?
Although we invest significantly in ensuring only genuine users are active on the platform, your safety is just as much your responsibility as it is ours. It is important to exercise caution and follow general safety guidelines on any internet platform as you would in the offline/physical world.
So, here are tips for spotting buyers who are possible fraud:
- UPI Fraud: Buyer deceives to have sent you money, but the amount is deducted from your account via Google-Pe, Phone-Pe, etc.
- Asking for Advance Product: The buyer demands you send the item before they pay for it or provides fake payment proofs
- Fake payment proofs: The buyer will ask for item without verifying it & deceive by sending a fake payment receipt, message etc.
- Insist on non-cash methods: Typically, the buyer insists on using a cheque. Note cheques could get bounced and banks bear no responsibility
- Seeking personal information: The Buyer asks for personal information like your ID, bank details, your email address, your debit/credit card number