[Representational image]Creative Commons

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, people have been on edge. From being at homes for an extended period to not have been able to go about their normal earnings, the hardships haven't been easy to cope with. Amidst all this, fraudsters are taking advantage of the opportunity to make some quick cash by tricking unsuspecting people.

It is often a common practice for scammers to go with reputed brands as it establishes a sense of trust with their victims, especially at a time when people might suspect the deal is too good to be true. One Facebook user shared her personal experience with scammers trying to trick her into giving them money. Priya Pandey was able to evade the scam by noticing the red flags and shared the entire story on her Facebook account to make sure others don't fall for it.

The scammer, who identified himself as Nitin Kumar Singh, was posing as senior executive at Nykaa, a popular online beauty store, and told Pandey that she won a Tata Nexon car or amount equating to the car's price, ie, Rs 7.5 lakh. Pandey grew suspicious as she hadn't received any email from Nykaa about the lucky draw, but chose to see where this led.

scam calls

"He told me that I need to pay some registration fee right now, which was Rs.2500 and then in sometime the amount will be credited in my account, and also asked me to share my account details. He was so confident he said if you are not sure you can send me details of a zero balance account (this trick was to make sure I believe their authenticity)," Pandey wrote.

Pandey noted that the in case of a lucky draw or prize, winners get a call from the company valid ID proofs and required documents and tax is always deducted in such transactions. The scammer was willing to help Pandey evade income tax by paying the registration fee.

As soon as Pandey confronted the scammer and her supervisor, who also tried to convince her this to be a legit deal. Pandey shared the details of the person who posed as Nykaa executive and other photos of the same person with IDs belonging to different departments, including Amazon, Shopclues, Flipkart ad Snapdeal.

Things you should never do

Scammers or not, never share your bank details over the phone with any stranger. Do not send IDs or any proof of address or identification over WhatsApp to strangers as it can be used by fraudsters in illegal operations. If you are buying or selling anything on OLX, make sure you meet the buyer in person. Finally, if something sounds too good to be true, it is probably fake. Take necessary precautions.