With more and more people falling for cyber fraud via online classifieds website OLX, cyber crime police in the city have cautioned people to physically verify the authenticity of any product before transferring money.

According to cops, the cybercrime departments across the city receive an average of three OLX fraud complaints every month. Most of these complaints are not turned official by the victims for various reasons, especially when the money lost is less than 1 lakh. Last year, 10 cases were filed across the city, but this year Rachakonda cybercrime police alone have recorded 10 cases since January. Overall, three cases have been cracked in the last two months.

"Offenders post ads for four-wheelers and two-wheelers at cheap prices. They tell buyers they can collect the vehicle after depositing the money. After the transfer, they stop taking calls," said S Harinath, assistant commissioner of police (cyber crime), Rachakonda.

"When people see suspiciously low prices, they should physically verify the product. Usually, offenders claim that they are moving abroad and need to sell their vehicle immediately. They cite this as the reason for the low prices, for instance an SUV or Innova, which costs over 10 lakh, being sold for 5 lakh," he said.

"We have also observed that the offenders withdraw the cash from ATMs within 15 minutes of transfer of the money," said the police officer. This makes it even more difficult to trace and recover the money.
He further added that hardly any of the OLX fraud offenders are from Hyderabad. 

Most of the offenders identified were from Bangalore while a few were from Delhi and Mumbai. "Many of the accused are Nigerians. In fact, if the offender is Indian, we manage to recover nearly 65% of the money lost, but if it is a Nigerian, less than 10% of the amount could be recovered," added the officer.
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