Sai* (name withheld) was going through her friends’ stories on Instagram when suddenly she came across a sponsored story. The story had a video of some “beautiful” outfits and Sai could not contain her patience and clicked on the page. The page was full of aesthetic videos of beautiful dresses that prompted her to see more of that page.
“I clicked on the story of that page and it said order any three dresses of your choice at 999, offer valid till 12 am tonight. I was motivated that I should avail the combo offer. I showed it to may mother and she was like it is a bonus go for it. So I DMed them and I received a reply within half an hour. They sent me questions to fill out to confirm the order. When I filled the form they just texted your order is confirmed I mean I was like how can you confirm even without asking me for size or the dresses I will like to order,” she told Ground Report.
Adding further she said, “Then they did not text back and I kept texting them about my order. Luckily it was a cash-on-delivery order. And then I came across some 10 such different pages on Instagram which were selling the exact same products and I was like what is this.” It was her younger sister who had come back from her hostel who told her that her friend had ordered from a similar page and upon receiving the order she realised that the page had been a scam.
“My sister said the package that my friend received contained small clothes which would not even fit children. Upon contacting the page for a return request the page never replied back. So my sister saved me that way. Because when my package arrived I never took that,” she added.
Another girl on grounds of anonymity talked to Ground Report and shared her own experience of ordering through an Instagram shopping page. “I had ordered some personal stuff and when I received the package, you will not believe the package contained three things of same colour and same size which I had not ordered at all. I was like my money is gone but what do I need to do with this now,” she told Ground Report.
There are a lot of pages on Instagram that claim to be shopping pages but do not follow the traditional process of ordering things. “One thing I observed in all such pages is that there are no comments on the posts and also the comment section is restricted. So that may be a red flag a warning sign for you,” an Instagram user told Ground Report.
In another such instance, a young boy lost more than 2000 rupees to an Instagram shopping scam.
Online scam cases have been on rising since the pandemic started. Since people could not go out to shop because of the virus they preferred online shopping and cyber police time and again cautioned people about it.