MUMBAI: People often lose money to scammers who pretend to be bank employees and scare them that their debit cards or bank accounts will be closed. People have also been taken advantage of when they try to buy a used item on reselling sites like Olx. But have you ever heard of someone getting ripped off when they buy beer online?
In a shocking case of cyber fraud, a young lawyer from Mumbai lost a total of Rs 44,782 to a con artist who pretended to be the owner of a wine shop. The lawyer was trying to buy beer online and have it sent to his house.
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The lawyer supposedly looked online for a beer shop’s phone number. When he found one and called, the con artist got him to pay for two bottles first. Then he asked for more money through QR codes for making bills and said he would give it back.
Under the pretense of giving the money back, the con artist got the lawyer to send multiple payments by sending QR codes for each payment.
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The victim did what the con artist told him to do until he smelled something fishy. By the time he realised what was going on, it was too late because the lawyer had already given the con artist over Rs 44,000.
In the end, the scammer stopped picking up the phone and blocked the lawyer’s number. The lawyer is then said to have called the police.
Here’s how to avoid these kinds of scams:
1. Never, ever pay with QR codes that are sent through WhatsApp.
2. If you call an unknown number to order something online, don’t pay anything up front. Whenever you can, go shopping.
3. Only buy things from websites you know and trust.
4. If you still made a mistake and gave cybercriminals money, call 1930 right away and tell them about the transaction so that the money can be saved.
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