Advance payment is a prevailing model for fraudsters to target victims to make upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that never materialize.
They trick you by gaining your trust through
- Lucrative and irresistible offers
- Posing association with trustworthy and noble professions like Doctors, NGOs, Public services
- Showing absolute urgency
- Emotional appeal
They keep the conversation very engaging and when they have you hooked, they ask you for money and vanish.
Are you a Buyer?
- If a seller is asking for an advance fee to cover any processing charges, pay duty/ taxes/courier/shipment/conversion charges etc., it could be a possible trap and should be avoided.
- Any solicitation offering employment and requesting an advance fee to secure the job or obtain the materials to perform the job or any job offer involving money transfer or wiring funds are possible frauds.
- If the seller stresses the urgency, emotional appeal, confidentiality to sway into believing the validity of his request, please be extra cautious as it could be a fraud.
- If someone asks upfront money with the assurance of loss/fraud recovery, it is also a case embezzlement and scam.
Are you a Seller?
- If a buyer claims to have paid extra money online or (MORE than the asking price), don't make any upfront differential payment unless directly checked with your bank and got confirmation about payment clearance.
- Merely relying on an email or SMS is not recommended as this can be masked to look authentic and fraudster weaseling his way.
How to safeguard your interest?
As a buyer, know who are you dealing with, independently confirm your seller's name, street, address, and telephone number, website, search for his information on the internet if any. It is your responsibility to satisfy yourself completely. OLX is an open platform and has no record or control over the intent of users.
Resist pressure to "act now."
If an offer sounds too good to be true, it could be a fraud. Never pay advance money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value at an unreasonably low price.
If you do not feel comfortable with an offer or service, do not go for it.
While transacting through OLX, OLX chat should be always preferred as a mode of communication. Avoid other chat channels like Whatsapp/Skype/Messengers etc.
Call OLX Trust & Safety helpline- 9999140999 (10:00 am to 07:00 pm.) or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to seek clarity and avoid chances of getting trapped.