New Delhi: Planning to sell your used goods online? Be careful, because classified websites can make you a victim. Digital crooks have adopted a new modus operandi, which involves keeping a close watch on items being uploaded on classified websites like Quikr and Olx. Fraudsters are duping gullible sellers by posing as potential customers.

MyNation has learnt that cybercriminals are fooling online sellers by striking deals and sending them SMSes which are complete carbon copies of those sent by banks after money transfer.

Janakpuri resident Sanjay Kumar, who was a victim of such fraud said, “I was selling my used DSLR camera for which I had uploaded pictures and details on an online classified website. I had demanded Rs 11,000 for it and a day later I got a call from a buyer who negotiated the price and I agreed to sell it for Rs 9,000.”

Kumar claims he couldn’t sense any foul play as the buyer sounded genuine. To gain the seller’s confidence, the fraudster said that he will immediately transfer the money and will pick the product later.

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“Soon, I got an SMS, which appeared to be from the bank informing about the transfer of Rs 19,000 to my account. Immediately after the SMS, I got a call from the buyer who panicked and informed me that he wrongly transferred Rs 10,000 extra and he immediately needs the additional money back. The buyer claimed that he was in dire need of money. I agreed to transfer Rs 10,000 back thinking he had paid Rs 19,000. But later on, I found that he had never transferred the fund and had forged the money transfer SMS.”

According to crime experts, fraudsters are getting sharper with every passing day. Earlier they used to upload fake products and offer them at a cheaper price to lure customers, but now they are posing as buyers and duping people by sending fake bank transfer SMSes.

“Sending fake SMSes is very easy. Dozens of websites are available from which one can fake an SMS and manipulate the sender’s details. In this case, criminals are sending SMSes on behalf of the bank, making their victims believe that they have transferred the fund,” said cybercrime investigator Amit Dubey.

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In another case, a south Delhi resident was lucky to check her bank account before transferring the money to the similar fraudster. “I was fortunate that I checked my bank details before falling into his trap. I had made a post to sell a piece of furniture for Rs 2,500. The scamster made a deal and sent an SMS of Rs 12,500 having been transferred and kept calling me to return the additional money — Rs 10,000. I almost believed him but was also careful enough to check the authenticity of the transfer with the bank,” she said.

MyNation tried to track the numbers used by the scamsters to dupe people and found all of them had switched their phones off. Police said it is difficult to track the accused through their bank account details as most of them are operating with fake documents.

Cybercrime experts have advised people to check each SMS they receive before replying. In the case of bank-related matters, it is always prudent to check with the banks before initiating any transaction.