DISCLAIMER: THIS CASE HAPPENED ON OLX BUT CAN HAPPEN ON ANY ONLINE SELLING PLATFORM.
This is certified! We live in an age of technology for sure. From cab booking to grocery shopping these days everything is available at the snap of our fingers literally. Rightly said our lives have surely been made faster and easier due to technology that surrounds us, internet being the prime face of it all. For many in fact survival without internet is quite unimaginable. Now it is here that we need to stop and give the whole affair a real serious thought. Is the internet for all good without any drawbacks at all? Well think not! The rising index of cyber crimes is an indication that the world of web comes with its own share of perils.
The case of Velpuri Pavithra S is a shocking testimony of the fact. Her story shared over facebook clearly illustrates the dangers that lurk in every point of the world of technology, not restricted to internet alone
Pavithra gave an ad in OLX to sell a pram. For nearly two months Pavithra did not receive any response to her ad. Then one find day she received a query on her ad to which she replied that the pram was still available. For a day there was no further communication. The next day the person called up and introduced himself as Vishal. He said that he is in Mumbai and is buying the stroller for his sister’s child who lives in Pune. He further said that he will be making the payments online and the pram will be collected by his sister.
In alignment when Pavithra has asked for his email id, he has requested for her bank details through WhatsApp. To this Pavithra had agreed and had shared her bank details. Within a mere three minutes she received a message that she has received a payment of 13500, an extra 10000. Unsure of what is happening she messaged Vishal (obviously not his correct name) about the extra payment. To this he replied that he had made a wrong transfer and Pavithra had to do an online transfer of Rs 10000 through paytm. The details that were said to be of his mother was again given over WhatsApp He further created an emergency by telling that his mother was at the hospital and needed to make a payment and it was urgent.
Pavithra sensed something wrong and checked her bank details prior to making the payment. She saw that she has received no payment. Now she called up her bank customer care who informed her that whether through NEFT or IPMS transfer requires a minimum time span of two hours.
She called up Vishal to tell him that she had not received any payment. Sensing something wrong he hung up and did not take any further calls.
The rudeness and the sheer well planning of the fraudster seemed quite unnerving for Pavithra.
Read full Text here:
Here is something you must read if you are a person like me, who believes that technology has eased our lives. It definitely has, by letting us buy groceries, transfer money, book a cab, order everything under the sun with just a click. Something happened this morning that asked me to pause a bit and be wary while I happily make financial transactions right left and center.
It has been two months since I put up an Ad on OLX mentioning that I would like to sell Desh’s stroller. Somehow, I didn’t find a customer who would pay anywhere close to what I had quoted. I had almost forgotten that the Ad was up as there was no activity on the Ad. A couple of days ago, I received message on the website’s chat messenger asking if it was still available. I replied saying it was still available and the person agreed to pay the quoted amount. I didn’t hear from him for a day. He called up this morning.
He introduced himself as Vishal and told me that he likes the pram and wants to buy it. He asked why I was selling it for such a low price when the pictures are so impressive. I told him that there was no damage and it is in great condition. I suggested to him that it would be good if he came in person and checked the condition before agreeing to buy it. He said that he lives in Mumbai and he wants to buy it for her sister who lives in Pune and it is a surprise. (In my head, I went “How sweet of an uncle to do this to his niece/nephew”). He offered to make an online transfer to my account and said that his sister would come and collect it tomorrow. On asking for his mail id for sending the details, he asked if I could share my account details on WhatsApp. I did. Within 3 minutes of me sharing the details, I received an SMS from one of these 5 digit numbers (like 59444) saying my account has been credited with 13,500 while the money that had to be transferred was 3,500.
I was not sure what was happening. I pinged this person on WhatsApp to check what had happened. He said it was done by mistake. He portrayed as if it was a transfer that was intended to reach his mom and requested me to transfer 10K. He said it was urgent, he had to send it to his mom who was waiting at a hospital to pay the bill. When I asked for his account details, he asked if I could transfer through Paytm to his mom’s number. I agreed though I sensed something was fishy.
For a moment before I transferred, I wanted to check my account online and not trust the SMS. I found that there was no money transferred. I called my bank’s customer care to check if there is a possibility for such a quick transfer within three minutes.
He asked me to check the transfer mode( NEFT or IMPS). In either of the cases, it would take at least 2 hours for a transfer to happen, is what the personnel informed.
As I kept talking to the customer care, I kept receiving messages from Vishal saying it is urgent and his mom is waiting for the money. I told him that I didn’t receive the money. I called him up to tell that it would take two hours for the transfer to happen(even if he had transferred), check what he was up to, asked him which bank he transferred from etc. He said ICICI, figured that I was probing and hung up the call.
I called him 3-4 times after that and his number was busy. It took me a while to digest that I was on the verge of getting tricked and the convoluted nature of the trick shook me quite a bit. Until I sat to key in this post, I kept giving myself that benefit of doubt that he does have a sister and he wants to buy the stroller for her baby and his mom isn’t in trouble. In the hindsight, it dawned on my mind that no bank would allow a transfer until at least half an hour after adding the beneficiary. Had it occurred to me when I received the credit SMS, I wouldn’t have fallen for that mom sentiment for 10 more minutes.
I received a call from him after two hours which I chose to ignore. Sent him a message on WA saying ‘I didn’t receive any money in my account. Hope you stop tricking people into traps like these. I really wish you had a sister and you wanted to buy it for her son/daughter. Also, I wish your mother doesn’t fall sick and stand in a hospital queue waiting for 10,000 rupees from you’
How much can one misuse technology, stoop to new lows, manipulate your emotions for quick bucks! I really wish he used his intelligence that he invested in creating an account on a portal, making seemingly genuine inquiries, faking bank SMS es, cooking up tales and sharing paytm details in something else and earned 10 rupees through honesty and hard work.
Here are the numbers that I received calls from and was asked to transfer money to.
Call :+91 9967957477
Paytm: +91 8948413565
Her story is a disturbing example that must make us wary of the technology and the public forums that we are using currently.