BENGALURU: The ease of shopping at the mere press of a button has made the shoppers more vulnerable to online frauds, especially on the free classifieds websites like OLX and Quickr, where you can buy and sell used goods across the country.
The most common form of scam is that of sellers collecting advance payment and then disappearing. But now scamsters have improvised new ways to trick vulnerable buyers.
The latest one on OLX is being perpetuated by tricksters posing as armymen and there have been numerous cases of potential buyers across the country are getting duped.
They try to cash in on the trust associated with the army, due to which the buyers don’t think twice before getting into the deal.
Many such fraudsters have listed ads of four-wheelers, two-wheelers and electronic goods in Bengaluru and other parts of the state and buyers continue to fall prey to the unbelievably low prices for otherwise expensive products.
According to sources in the Cyber Crime division, the complaints of online frauds have increased and lately the victims also filing complaints against fake armymen duping them of their money on the pretext of shipping their products.
About 10-15 cases of fraud by fake armymen are being registered monthly and tracing them has always remained a herculean task for the police.
These fraudsters create multiple profiles on the OLX with no display pictures and upload the pictures of cars, bikes and electronic goods in all the profiles with jaw-dropping low price tags and in different locations.
When buyers initiate a chat with them on OLX, they share their mobile numbers with the potential buyers and ask them to call. "Most of the people who call such frauds are already halfway into striking the deal considering the nature of product and price. These kinds of buyers are easy target,” a senior police officer said.
A woman Zakira Banu who could have been a victim of such fraud if she had not sensed something fishy and backed off. She told Deccan Chronicle that a fraud who posed as an armyman based in Bengaluru and transferred to a different location in North India has posted an ad for an year-old scooter for Rs 12,000.
“I called him up to enquire about the scooter. He told me that he would send the vehicle to her place through shipping facility provided to Indian Army personnel. However, he asked me to deposit Rs 2,800 as a security deposit claiming that he was adhering to the shipping policy of Indian army personnel. However, I sensed something fishy about the deal and backed off. But that person never stopped calling me,” she said.
Similarly, one of the frauds who introduced himself as Manjeet Indian Army has listed Maruti Suzuki Swift (Diesel 2015 model) for Rs 1.85 lakh, a price that would certainly lure the buyers. The price is further negotiable and the sellers agree to sell it for as low as 1 lakh....