CHENNAI: Many people are falling victim to a new cyber crime in the city, where the fraudsters pose as Indian Armed Forces personnel on the e-commerce website OLX, and cheat gullible customers. In the last 45 days, over 100 complaints have been received from various parts of the city.
“I saw a poster about a two-wheeler on sale for Rs 13,000 on OLX and contacted the given number,” says a victim who lost Rs 50,000 recently. “The person on the other side of the conversation over WhatsApp was a man wearing army uniform. He told me he was stationed at Pallavaram, and was recently transferred from Rajasthan.” The person claiming to be from the Indian Army had sent the Registration Certificate, Insurance copy, Army ID and Aadhaar over WhatsApp.
“The pattern has been that they call the buyers, saying that they want to see them in person. They question them with authority, making the buyer believe the transaction is genuine,” says an officer. Later, the fraudster would send pics of the vehicle being packed, and demand money. He handed me a receipt on WhatsApp and sent me pictures of him working in an army base.
He kept demanding money in small amounts till I gave him the total of Rs 33,000. Then he blocked my number and I never received any vehicle,” said another. The police said in some cases if the fraudsters find the victim to be an elderly or a soft spoken woman, they even threaten to arrest them under Army Code for disrespecting a personnel.
Preliminary investigations suggest that most of the members have been operating from Rajasthan and many victims were conned by the same fraudster. The same modus operandi is being used by fraudsters for selling other materials like sofa, cars, refrigerators, television and gadgets as well.