Noida Resident Seeking Rental Apartment Falls Victim to Online Scam, Loses 1.5 Lakh after Signing Agreement with Fake Broker


Noida Resident Seeking Rental Apartment Falls Victim to Fake Broker Scam; Fraudster Extracts Payment through Deceptive QR Code

“Renting a flat online? Be Cautious: Scammers Target Home Seekers in Rental Fraud. A recent incident highlights how a man from Dehradun, who had recently begun a job in Noida, fell victim to an online scam while searching for a rental property. The scam involved a fake broker who convinced the victim to make a payment using a deceptive QR code, resulting in a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh.

As reported by Times Now, Gaurav Joshi was relocating to Noida for work and was looking for a rental apartment. He came across an online broker named Vikas Gupta who claimed to have a flat available for rent at Rs 16,500 per month. Joshi agreed to sign the rental agreement and was asked to make a payment for the same.

To build trust, the scammer even sent Rs 5 to Joshi’s bank account along with a refund coupon. Believing the broker, Joshi scanned the coupon to initiate the payment. However, shortly after, he noticed an unauthorized deduction of Rs 1.15 lakh from his account. Another fraudulent transaction took place, resulting in a total loss of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Upon realizing the scam, Joshi promptly reported the incident to the police and filed a complaint, leading to the case being registered in Sector 113, Noida.

The scammer used a malicious QR code to steal money. The victim placed trust in the broker without verifying his credentials and made the payment without confirming the authenticity of the payment gateway. The malicious QR code allowed the scammer to gain access to Joshi’s bank account details, leading to the fraudulent deduction.

To safeguard yourself from QR code scams, consider these precautions

Source Verification: Only scan QR codes from trusted sources. Verify the sender’s identity before scanning a QR code received via email, text, or social media. Inspect the QR Code: Visually inspect the QR code for signs of tampering before scanning it. Look for misalignment, pixilation, or added elements. Hover Before Scanning: Hover your phone’s camera over the QR code without scanning it to reveal the destination URL. Make sure it matches the official website of the business. Be Suspicious of Channels: Be cautious of QR codes received through text messages, emails, or social media, as scammers often use these channels to distribute fraudulent codes. Enable Security Features: Enable built-in security features in your smartphone’s camera settings that can alert you to potentially harmful QR codes. Avoid Sharing Personal Information: Do not enter personal or sensitive information through QR codes, as legitimate sources typically do not request sensitive data this way.”

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