This year has witnessed a concerning rise in online scams in India, with new and inventive schemes emerging every now and then. Scammers capitalize on trust and often pose as recruiters, financial advisors, or even potential partners on dating sites. Recently, there have been instances where individuals fell victim to such deceitful tactics. It’s important to stay vigilant and recognize the signs of potential scams to safeguard against such activities.
In a case reported from Gurugram, a woman lost more than Rs 30,000 when she tried ordering a bottle of whiskey online. A Google search lead her straight to the trap of a scammer, and she lost her hard-earned money. Read on to know what exactly happened.
Gurugram woman loses Rs 33,000
According to a TOI report, a 32-year-old woman residing in Gurugram tried ordering a bottle of whiskey online. Unable to find a local wine delivery service through Google, she stumbled upon a phone number claiming to provide doorstep alcohol delivery. What started as an innocent search for a convenient service ended in a series of transactions, resulting in a loss of Rs 33,000 to fraudsters.
Sharing her experience with TOI, the woman explained that after calling the aforementioned number and paying Rs 3,000 for a bottle of Glenfiddich via UPI, she received a call requesting additional money for delivery. Sensing that something was amiss, she decided to cancel the order. The scammers then asked her to send Rs 5, promising a refund, along with a UPI transaction description containing a string of numbers and characters presented as a GST number.
Initially, the Rs 5 payment seemed to be refunded, but shortly afterward, the woman received a notification stating that Rs 29,986 had been debited from her bank account. Alarmed, she contacted her bank and blocked the account. Despite not downloading any suspicious apps that would grant access to her phone screen, Shekhawat discovered that her account details had been leaked after the Rs 5 transaction, according to information provided by the police.
Law enforcement officials are actively investigating the case, suspecting that the scam occurred during the transaction, possibly facilitated by a QR code sent by the fraudsters. The police have identified the phone number and are seeking transaction details from the bank, tracing the location of the accused to Bharatpur.
How to stay safe from such scams
There are a couple of things that people can keep in mind in order to stay safe from such scams.
First, be sure to protect your personal and financial information. You should never divulge sensitive information such as your passwords, credit card details, or social security number to unknown individuals or organizations, whether over the phone, email, or text messages. Legitimate businesses or institutions will never ask for this type of information through unsolicited channels.
Second, whenever you receive a link containing an attachment, be extremely careful and verify the sender’s identity before clicking on any links or opening attachments in emails or messages. Also, be suspicious of links that appear to be from familiar sources but contain unusual sender addresses or misspelled domain names. Hover over the link to see the actual URL before clicking, and avoid clicking on links that redirect to unfamiliar websites.
Finally, use strong and unique passwords for all your online accounts, including a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessable information such as your name, birth date, or common words. Additionally, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a secondary verification code, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your password.
Finally, never transfer money into a stranger’s bank account and do not share your banking credentials with anyone.