Had Pavithra fallen into the man's trap, she could have ended up losing Rs 10,000.

In the guise of an OLX purchase scamster tries to rob woman of Rs 10000 Image for representation
Social Digital Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 15:48

Technology has it made it possible for us to buy and sell almost anything that we need at the click of a button. These were also the thoughts in Velpuri Pavithra’s mind when she placed an ad to sell a stroller on OLX. However, what transpired after she placed the ad is something that made her pause and become wary of making financial transactions online without taking the necessary precautions.

In a Facebook post Pavithra published on Friday, she alleged that she was almost scammed for Rs 10,000 when a man expressed interest in buying the stroller.

The man, who introduced himself to her as Vishal, allegedly contacted her online two months after she posted the ad. Vishal was the first person who had agreed to pay the quoted amount of Rs 3,500 for the stroller. When Pavithra told him to come personally and check the stroller before making the payment, he said he was based in Mumbai and that he wanted to buy it as a surprise for his Pune-based sister.

“In my head, I went, “How sweet of an uncle to do this to his niece/nephew,” writes Pavithra.

“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 Rs 13,500 while the money that had to be transferred was Rs 3,500,” she continues.

When Pavithra messaged him on WhatsApp about the transfer, Vishal said that he had done so 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,” Pavithra says.

But when she asked him for his account details, he told her to transfer the money via PayTM. Pavithra agreed initially, although she sensed something fishy. So, she decided to check her account if the money had indeed been transferred to her. Her suspicions were confirmed when she found that no money had been credited to her account and on checking with her bank, even the customer care told her the same.

“He (customer care) asked me to check the transfer mode (NEFT or IMPS). In either of the cases, it would take at least two 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,” Pavithra says.

She also told Vishal that she did not receive the money, and called him to tell him that it would take at least two hours for the transfer to happen. She then asked him what bank he had transferred the money from. He told her it was ICICI, but on realising that she was probing, he allegedly disconnected the call. He did not receive Pavithra’s call again.

“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,” Pavithra wrote on Facebook.

“In 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,” she added.

Vishal attempted to get in touch with her once again but this time, Pavithra ignored him. But she did write to him on WhatsApp 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.”

Read Pavithra’s full post here.

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