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Rahul Thadani

Quikr Scam Alert: Beware of the Distance Buyer’s Scam

May 29, 2015
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Online classifieds like Quikr, OLX and others are very convenient marketplaces for buying and selling all kinds of items. These portals are especially effective if you are looking to sell off consumer electronic goods like smartphones and more. However, we would like to share with our users an example of what can go wrong with such transactions.

quikr scam
Previously, we have spoken about fake sellers on Quikr and OLX and how such scammers try to dupe people. But this new scam that has come to our notice follows a different approach altogether. This type of scam is referred to as a ‘distance buyer’s scam’ and it has also been reported a few times on international classifieds such as Craigslist and others as well.

How the ‘Distance Buyer’s Scam’ Works

The way this scam works is very effective and manipulative. The buyer (the scammer) contacts the seller (the victim) and shows an interest in the item for sale. He also states that he is living abroad, so the item will have to be shipped to his location if the deal goes through. The scammer then reassures the seller that the shipping charges would be taken care of.

The scammer also tells the seller that he will send over a representative from a private courier service to collect the item and the shipping charges. This ‘representative’ is also in on the scam and soon arrives at the seller’s doorstep to collect the item and the shipping charges. He then hands over the fake courier details to the seller and even sends a fake email that contains the same details. All this while, the scammer stays in contact with the seller and assures him that he will receive the money for the item as well as the shipping charges.

The primary motive of the scammer is to dupe the victim of as much cash as he can. So he claims to be living in a distant location that has very high rates for shipping packages.

There are a few variations of this scam, but the overall mechanism of the trick remains the same. In some cases, the seller may even receive a fake email from a bank. This email may say that the money for the item and the shipping charges have been received by the buyer. Only the courier details are needed upon which the charges will be approved and released. This further convinces the seller that this is a legitimate deal.

Pro Tip – It is worth noting here that there is no bank or courier company that would ever send a message stating they are holding the money for you and will transfer it once they receive the courier details of the shipped product from you or from their local representative. Here’s how you can recognize a phishing email.

Selling a Samsung S4: Case study of the ‘Distance Buyer’s Scam’

A friend of ours, Ramesh Tripathi* (name changed) recently experienced this Quikr scam firsthand. Fortunately, he recognized the obvious signs in the phishing email he received and thus avoided being duped. The exact sequence of events that he went through was as follows:

  • Ramesh put his Samsung S4 on sale over Quikr. He then received an enquiry for the device from a person residing in the United States – Maria Andriano.
  • Maria claimed she wanted the phone for her son living in South Africa. So she asked Ramesh to ship the phone there directly. While the cost of the phone was listed around the Rs. 6,000 mark, the shipping charges to South Africa were almost double that amount. Maria said she would willingly pay this amount.
  • Maria contacted Ramesh once more after a couple of days to let him know that she had sent the amount due for the phone and the courier charges to Ramesh via Scotia Bank.
  • Ramesh then received an email from Scotia Bank within 24 hours, saying that the said amount has been transferred and would be released to Ramesh once he provides them with the shipping details and courier number.
  • The email ID of the supposed buyer who we believe to be a part of this scam is mariaandriano270@gmail.com and the fake bank email was sent by confirmcareline@cash4u.com.

Fortunately for Ramesh, he was able to see through this scam and save his money as well as his peace of mind. Stay tuned for a follow-up post where we will be listing out detailed precautionary steps that you can take to stay safe against such scams.

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Rahul Thadani
About Rahul Thadani
Rahul is a web enthusiast and blogger, and has been writing about the computer security industry for the last three years. Following the latest technology trends,...
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53 Comments

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  1. Rockey RajJune 1, 2015 at 12:34 PM

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  2. DINESH GUPTAJune 1, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    it is good news

    Reply
  3. i have something to say
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    since 2005 because i’ve been fooled earlire by a company ie SARADHA pls dont mind OK

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    Thank you for the valuable info.

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  7. Lalatendu BhuyanJune 1, 2015 at 8:51 PM

    nice to know about , so what to do planning first .

    Reply
  8. tanmaydhaliJune 1, 2015 at 9:05 PM

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  11. Hi Somnath,

    In such a scenario, it is better to avoid transactions with such users and not fall for what they tell you.

    Regards.

    Reply
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  20. Today we have majar problem using Quick heal 2014 upgrade 16 version when we update qhick heal all network with internet are block.

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  29. ChandrashekharJune 4, 2015 at 10:32 AM

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  32. Oh my god, big fraud still going on on Quikr.
    why no one is taking action against these cheaters???
    Maruthi electronic is selling 55″ 4k TVs in just 40,000/- saying manufacturer warranty…please take some action immediately….
    Can’t even Bangalaore police take some action, I am providing a direct number of that fraud ed person: 07338527348, he is on whatsapp too.
    Please be careful with such type of people…

    Reply
  33. Please check these 2 adds on Quikr they seem to be fraud. Fraud is not just committed while selling the product, there are these sellers stating they are abroad and are sending cheap goods like Iphone, Drones and cameras and claim they have contacts in the customs to make sure the delivery is done.

    Reply
  34. SaravanaprabhuJuly 15, 2017 at 1:18 PM

    Same is happened to me.Thank you for the valuable post. I figured out as like the (Ramesh).

    Anyway I learned these types of people.. Experience

    Reply
  35. Shantanu zendeJanuary 4, 2018 at 8:43 AM

    Wow .. just now I got a txt for my add . He said he is from USA army he want my phone the same this he said about courier and all .. I called him on WhatsApp he was with his African accent. And I come to know that he is scam. I saved…and then he blocked me

    Reply
  36. SHIVA PRASADFebruary 19, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    I have seen one plus 5t in quikr for 15k n it is offered by a usa guy he has given his whatsapp no in quikr. And i he made a deal dat 50per i hav 2 pay now and other 50per after delivery. Should i take dat risk or not

    Reply
  37. Nishant solankiFebruary 25, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    I also had such a situation when i was selling my nokia N75 phone on quikr. A person contacted me from America saying he needs to gift this phone to his son on his birthday. Who lives in south Africa. And will transfer the money by bank. And will arrange the courier as well. But i suspected that something is wrong here. And i told that i would only like to deal those persons who live in India only. It was to my surprise that no courier service contacted me that was setup by that scammer. And today i saw this scam story above the same thing would have happened to me if i haven’t have said no.

    Reply
  38. Shubhankar BawejaMarch 13, 2018 at 7:14 PM

    Same thing happened with me.. in my case it was paypal who had deposited the amount in an escrow account and asked me to ship the item to release the amount.

    Reply