Three people were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police for allegedly selling stolen vehicles on online selling websites, including OLX, according to a LinkedIn post by Azamgarh’s Superintendent of Police, Prof. Triveni Singh. He also said that these people allegedly created fake documents including Aadhaar cards to carry out the fraud. UP police’s PRO confirmed to MediaNama that the alleged fraudsters were arrested on September 19.

Notice to OLX: Singh said that the department will send a notice to OLX since its platform was misused in this case. He said that he has sought OLX’s fraud risk management policy for monitoring criminal activities on its platform. He has also asked if OLX is adhering to proper KYC (know your customer) norms.

Modus operandi: Singh explained that the gang was selling stolen vehicles on online selling websites using fake identities, and mostly posing as army officers or policemen.

  • The gang allegedly had three teams. One team would steal vehicles, the other would create fake documents such as Aadhaar Card, registration certificate (RC) and insurance using Photoshop. The third team posted pictures of the stolen vehicles and fake documents to target customers.

Recent cases of phishing in India

  • In May 2019, an elderly woman in Pune was cheated of Rs 45,000 on the pretext of exchanging a product that she had purchased from an e-commerce website. The woman had received an incorrect order and made a call to the customer service centre, who then asked her for her bank account details and an OTP. The woman’s husband found out the next day that money from the account had been transferred to accounts in West Bengal and Gujarat.
  • In May 2019, an elderly man from Pune was duped of Rs 1 lakh by a person posing as a financial accounting consultant. The man had booked round-trip tickets for his wife, but received a call from the fraudster saying that he didn’t mention the baggage weight. The caller then asked the man to send him his booking details and bank name along with an SMS code that he’d receive for verification. He also asked the man to download an application for “work purposes”. Six transactions worth Rs 9,994 were made from the man’s bank account some time later.
  • In April 2019, a Jodhpur-based doctor was duped of Rs 2.62 lakhs on the pretext of claiming free gifts, after purchasing a laundry bag that cost just Rs 399. The doctor received a call from a woman, who convinced him to make the purchase through his credit card. Following that, he got a call from a person asking him to pay GST of Rs 5,580 as he had won a laptop worth Rs 72,000 as part of a ‘deal of the day scheme’ on the website.