New Delhi, Jan 3 : Due to the pandemic, lesser number of people are seen venturing out for food instead many are preferring to order food online from food delivery apps. But with this trend, scamsters have now sighted an opportunity to sneak in and swindle lakhs of rupees by offering food at discounted prices and lure vulnerable 'foodies' online.
Many people have been duped by fancy and lucrative advertisements online on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A woman from Bengaluru was duped of Rs 50,000 with the similar modus operandi after she fell for an ad which offered two free 'thalis' for the price of one. She was innocent enough to pay Rs 10 token amount asked by the scamster on Facebook.
Experts believe the token money is the catch. In the name of token advance payment for an online service like food delivery, scammers can swindle lakhs from a person's bank account. The person first sees a 'Buy-One-Get-One-Free' offer in an online advertisement. Believing it to be a genuine ad, the person calls on the number given in the ad. The number actually belongs to a scammer who is impersonating as a Customer Care Executive of a popular food outlet. He then sends a phishing website link or a UPI link or a Google Form where the victim ends up submitting card or account details for the token advance payment which is nominal and as low as Rs 10.
He may also make the victim download a remote access app to see the mobile screen. Using the details, he cheats the victim of a large sum.
"Only enter bank or card details on verified, secure websites and apps. Never enter PIN or password in Google Forms and don't get tricked by heavy discount offers," advises Anyesh Roy, DCP-Cyber Crime unit of Delhi Police.
The people are also advised by experts to call on genuine customer care numbers which could be found on verified social media accounts or companies' websites.
"If you have been cheated, immediately call on Helpline 155260," the officer added.
A word of caution from security agencies is to be vigilant and never fall for an offer that sounds unreasonably lucrative.
(Zafar Abbas can be reached at email@example.com)