Despite the title, this has nothing to do with the scooter or the company. That being said, it is clear that a pan-Indian gang seemed to be responsible for carrying out this scam.
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Without a substantial dealership network, Ola Electric Scooters in India sells its electric scooters. The majority of e-scooter sales take place online. This is what the con artists abused. Scammers are predicted to have deceived about 1000 people.
The Ola Electric Scooter Purchase Scam
The investigation determined that the Ola Electric Scooter scam was started by two individuals from Bengaluru, according to the sources. A group of 20 fraudsters were busted and arrested by the Delhi cybercrime police. The scammers were detained in several different locations across the nation. These include Bengaluru, Patna, and Gurugram, according to the sources.
For those looking to reserve their Ola Electric scooters, scammers created a website that looks exactly like the real Ola Electric company website.
Later, on October 7, 2022, a scamming lawsuit was filed by the cybercrime police. The individuals sought out those who were interested in purchasing an electric scooter or learning more about their purchasing options. The two in Bangalore then distributed the mobile numbers to the other gang members in various cities across the nation as soon as the data of the prospective buyers was logged.
Then the gang members called and requested that the victims transfer Rs. 499 to reserve the electric scooter. Next, the con artists demanded a deposit of Rs. 60,000–Rs. 70,000 from the victims to cover the cost of the insurance and transportation. There have also been reports of con artists demanding Rs. 13,000 for delivery fees.
The FIR’s original filer wanted to purchase an Ola electric scooter. He first downloaded the Ola application to find out more information about the e-scooter.
However, without any information regarding the e-financing, scooter’s as Ola doesn’t provide financing options. The only way to find out if there were any other purchasing options was via the internet.
He went to the fake website at this point and provided his contact information. First, the con artists demanded Rs. 499 for the booking after the call. The victim, believing it to be authentic, paid the money using the PayU app.
He received an email the next day with a list of all the possible financing options. Ola Money was chosen by the complainant, and a payment link was created and sent to WhatsApp. The complainant followed the financial plan and paid a down payment of Rs. 30,000. His loan was approved for a total of 72,000 rupees. This was a ruse to make everything seem legitimate.
The victim was then asked for an additional payment of Rs. 13,000, which made him suspicious that it was a scam. The victim went to the cybercrime unit to file the FIR after realising what had happened.
More than 1000 people duped
More than a thousand people may have fallen victim to various types of deception. The fraud may easily total several hundred crores. In response to the complaint, the cybercrime cell raided the Patna-based call centre.
Seven laptops, 114 SIM cards, and more than 60 mobile phones have all been seized. Police have also located 25 bank accounts with over Rs 5 crore in transactions. This scam serves as yet another reminder of the need for caution when transacting online. Users must always use the business’s official website or app to make payments.
Cybercriminals never pass up an opportunity to deceive people, whether it be through email fraud, social media fraud, banking fraud, lottery fraud, gift card fraud, fake government website fraud, job fraud, KYC fraud, or any other scheme. They keep changing how they operate, which makes it more difficult for people to stay away from them.
Being cautious while shopping online is always a good idea, especially as technology is developing very quickly. Therefore, it’s wise to keep a few things in mind in order to avoid online scams like this one.
- Only access secure and authorised websites
- Use only trusted applications, and only download them
- Use caution when driving while making payments.
- Maintain the most recent version of your device (laptop, smartphone, etc.).
- Never divulge private information online.
- Never answer calls requesting remote access to your device.