Close to 4,000 people in Hyderabad fell prey to fake and fraudulent advertisements on online market OLX in 2019 alone, according to authorities, who issued an advisory on Saturday asking citizens to beware of cyber frauds.
According to officials, a total of 3,838 cases of fraud were reported in the city in 2019, where the total amount lost by citizens was around Rs 13.3 crore.
Out of this, the Hyderabad Commissionerate accounted for 1,642 complaints and a loss of Rs 5.23 crore, followed by Cyberabad Commissionerate with 1,309 complaints and a loss of Rs 4.37 crore, and Rachakonda Commissionerate with 887 complaints and Rs 3.74 crore.
Police said that many were posting fake advertisements for the sale of motorcycles, cars and other valuable articles for a very low price.
â€œWhenever any customer shows interest to buy the items posted by the fraudsters, they make them believe that they are working in the army and they got transferred, which is why they are selling the item for a low price," a police press release said.
Following this, the fraudsters make the customer transfer the amount into their bank accounts before absconding, thereby cheating the customer of several lakh in some cases.
Noting that such frauds were increasing day by day as it was difficult to verify the genuineness of the sellers online, the police said, "In order to create awareness, cyber teams are distributing pamphlets, posting advertisements in theatres and releasing the details of arrests to print and electronic media at regular intervals."
The police also listed a few precautionary measures to avoid frauds, like verifying the product physically and asking for original documents and bills for the products, before transferring any money.
"Do not believe any ID cards sent in the name of Army personnel by the seller, as they are mostly fake ones. Do not believe the words of a seller when they say the amount will be returned, once the product is delivered," the advisory stated.