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Delhi Residents Warn of Web Scams After Police List Fraud Baits OLX, Just Dial

© AP Photo / Altaf QadriAn Indian woman uses her mobile phone in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015
An Indian woman uses her mobile phone  in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.03.2021
Pandemic-induced social distancing has meant that an increasing number of Indians have been driven to use online services for several day-to-day chores such as paying bills and shopping. Although online services make life easier, they are also accompanied by the risk of being targeted by cyber fraudsters.

SN Srivastava, the Commissioner of Delhi Police, has warned residents of India’s capital that conmen could be exploiting the online marketplace OLX and local search engine “Just Dial” to extract money and information.

Delhi residents have re-shared Srivastava's public information film, warning each other to be wary of cyber criminals while using online platforms. Netizens were loud in their appreciation of the efforts the local police were going to to protect Delhi residents from online fraud.

OLX is an online market for a wide array of second-hand products such as phones, furniture and utensils, whereas Just Dial is a phone directory to connect people with professional services such as locksmiths, garages, general stores etc.

Both of these apps are heavily used in India, especially by students who have moved to Delhi to improve their opportunities. 

In February, Shri Prem Nath, the joint commissioner of Delhi Police Cyber Cell, also said that many cyber fraudsters are using “QR codes” to dupe people of their money.

QR codes are a popular way to make online payments and look like a type of matrix barcode which, when scanned by online payment apps, allows people to exchange money digitally via their online wallets.

Nath explained how fraudsters pose as sellers or buyers of second-hand items, send these barcodes for payments and con people out of money without actually selling the item.

Last week, the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police arrested two people for extorting $100,000 from a local resident under the pretence of buying a refrigerator on OLX via a QR code-based payment.

According to data shared by the Delhi Police, 62 percent of the cybercrime reported in the Indian capital last year was related to online financial fraud as cyber criminals found new ways to trick home-bound people into losing money.

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