Seller beware: online selling fraught with danger


If you are not sure how apps like Olx and Quikr work, you may fall prey to fraudsters and lose money.

Vivek Madhu

Online fraudsters are using online selling platforms like Olx and Quikr for stealing money from users, who are unaware of their intentions. The fraudsters take contact numbers of the users from these platforms, request money through Unified Payment Interface (UPI) Id and stop responding when the victim realizes s/he has been tricked.

Last year, 133 online fraud cases were reported, but the numbers have increased rapidly as 172 cases have been reported in the first half of 2019 already according to information provided by the Cyber Crime Police Station, Bengaluru.

Pinchu Sabu, a resident of Whitefield who works at Bellandur, was tricked while selling an item worth Rs 16,000. The fraudulent identified as Jai Kishan, promised to buy the item by paying Rs 2000 as an advance through PhonePe. Using the option of ‘request money’, he requested money through the app instead of sending it, and asked the user to accept the request. The user did so, thus losing his money. The lack of awareness of users plays a crucial part in these activities online.

Once the money is lost through UPI, not even the bank can retract it. The pattern was similar in the case of Pushkala, who lost Rs 26,000 through Olx, another online selling platform. As per the investigation done by the bank, the app Mobikwik was hacked by the fraud which resulted in the loss.

Kashyap N Naik, an advocate who specializes in cyber crimes said that cyber crimes have increased through the UPI apps and cases has been reported daily.“Gaining proper knowledge on how to use these apps seems to be the only way to stop these crimes from happening.”The punishment of online fraudcan be imprisonment for a term of three years and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh.

In this digitalized world where even small-scale shops are accepting their money through Phone Pe and GPay, users need to be aware of how to use these platforms.


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