A brand has shared how they were almost scammed out of ₹ 8,000 in hopes that their story will help other small businesses avoid such frauds. Awktopus, which describes itself as a “homegrown brand with a bunch of happy products by two awkward siblings”, shared an Instagram Reels video earlier this month describing how an online scammer almost swindled them out of ₹ 8,000 – and how they managed to outsmart him in the end. Their video has gone viral with over 3.3 million views on the photo and video sharing platform.
Awktopus shared a bunch of screenshots detailing their interaction with the scammer. From the screenshots, it appears as if the scammer – who goes by the Instagram handle ‘shoppingcart117’ – made a purchase worth ₹ 858 from the brand. The brand asked him to transfer and share a screenshot of the transaction.
The scammer then supposedly sent them ₹ 8,858 and politely requested them to return the extra ₹ 8,000 he sent by mistake.
“Sorry mem syd jyada amount pay ho gya h aapko (Sorry ma’am, I sent you some extra money),” he wrote, requesting the brand representative to return ₹ 8,000.
The scammer’s trick would have worked, but for the diligence of the brand. Awktopus noticed that instead of actually transferring ₹ 8,858 and sharing a screenshot of the transaction, the man had only typed the amount out as text and sent them a screenshot of that.
Had they actually ‘returned’ the amount he had asked for, they would have been swindled out of ₹ 8,000. Luckily, the brand noticed this easily-overlooked detail and decided to give the scammer a taste of his own medicine.
“Tit for tat,” they wrote while sharing a pic which shows they, too, simply typed out “Paid ₹ 8,000” and shared a screenshot of that.
“A couple of days back, someone tried to pull a fast one on us. Thankfully we didn’t end up falling for it. But if we weren’t alert enough, we’d have ended up losing about 8k!!” Awktopus wrote while sharing the video. “Please do share it with other small business owners so that they could be more cautious and aware of such scammers.”
The video has crossed 3.3 million views on Instagram. Many on the platform thanked the brand for raising awareness, while others expressed shock at the scammer’s quick change in behaviour once his trick had been called out. Whereas he had been excessively polite earlier, he began abusing the brand once he realised he had been outsmarted.
“I would have definitely got scammed. Thank you for this alert,” wrote one Instagram user.
“Omg. And then he’s abusing,” another remarked. “This is so sad. And they are even abusing,” a third said.
Several others said they had been tricked in this manner too. “Same happened with us. They think small businesses are easy to cheat,” an Instagram user commented.
“Happened with me, quite a few times. During the lockdown for some reason the payment would show a little later in my wallet/account. And since I had appointments back to back, I’d take the appointments in a hurry. We spend a lot of time providing our services and if this happens in return, it really hurts,” a counsellor wrote.