PUNE: Twenty seven-year-old Naval Baheti, who was planning to buy an iPhone through an online shopping website, was recently cheated to the tune of Rs 37,000 by an online fraudster.
Naval saw an advertisement of an iPhone for Rs 43,000 and was interested in the deal. Naval then contacted the seller who shared his PayTm number with Naval. The online seller told Naval that he is sending the iPhone through courier and shared the courier details with him. Naval was asked to pay Rs 18,000 after the seller shared the courier details. The seller then again called up Naval and told him that the mobile phone has been dispatched to his address and asked him to deposit another Rs 19,000 in PayTm account of the courier person. Naval did as instructed but was not aware that he is falling into a trap and never received the iPhone.
Similarly, on January 12, officials of the cyber crime cell (CCC) arrested two persons from Mumbai identified as Sajid Shaikh and Nasir Shaikh for cheating around 30 people on an online shopping website.
The duo would take advance money from victims who were interested in buying two-wheelers. Officials of CCC said that the accused had shared all personal details with the victims to establish a trust which was all fake. The victims paid Rs 16,000 to Rs 18,000 for buying the two-wheelers which were never delivered to them.
These are just a few examples how people are been scammed on online shopping websites after online fraudsters have found different ways to trap victims. Police officials working in the cyber crime cell (CCC) of the city and rural police said that such crimes are taking place for over a year and many victims are falling trap to the scam as fraudsters are finding myriad ways to establish trust with the victims.
“ ‘My family member is sick, I am in need of urgent money, I have to undergo an operation’ are few of the common reasons which online sellers cite while selling their product and are preparing a trap for potential victims,” a police official from cyber crime said.
Assistant Police Inspector Mahesh Chavan of CCC of Pune rural police said that fraudsters will share photos of the courier package and also phone number of the courier person with the victims. “The fraudsters establish trust by sharing these details with victims and then ask the victims to deposit money in their accounts. Once the money is credited to the account of the fraudster, he will stop all communication with the victim. Such frauds are common when people are buying electronic items and vehicles,” added Chavan.
In 2017, the CCC of the city police had arrested a gang of three persons who would cheat people by pretending to sell cars online. The arrested accused would use fake photographs and forged documents of vehicles to establish a trust and would dupe the victim by not giving them the vehicle even after the victim had paid for it. Speaking about such cases, a police inspector from CCC said that the fraudsters are learning cheating techniques at double the rate than victims are learning about these techniques and hence, awareness about such crimes among people is the only solution to prevent such crimes.
“The fraudsters will share his Aadhaar card, PAN card and all details and documents with the victims but that does not mean the victim should fall for it and start trusting the person. In any case, people should not pay in advance while shopping on such sites. Once the product is delivered, people should check the product and then make the payment,” a police official said.