18:59 GMT01 December 2020
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    Houses in India are all decked up with fancy lights and traditional “diyas” (earthen lamps) to celebrate the festival of lights ‘Diwali’. The occasion also symobolises the triumph of light over darkness. Legend has it that on this day Lord Rama, then King of Ayodhya, returned along with his wife from a 14-year exile.

    Amid the ongoing Diwali festivities in India, many people are being targeted by online fraudsters who wait for such occasions to predate on the trusting and gullible. Speaking to Sputnik, a senior Delhi Police official revealed that during the festival season, people tend to sell and buy a lot of things online, giving swindlers the opportunity to get the better of them. 

    These con artists advertise goods on online shopping websites like OLX using fake accounts.

    “They demand an advance or upfront payments for the goods listed on OLX while on the other sites they tend to send alternative or fake products,” the official told Sputnik.

    He explained, for instance, that if a person buys an iPhone, they would receive a packed box similar to that of an original one. However, when the customer opens it, he finds a stone or bar of soap.

    Such swindles increase during the festive season and every year thousands of cases are registered for fraud,  across the country.

    The official revealed that tracing the accused becomes difficult as most of the accounts are either under some other person’s name or fake ones. They tend to use them briefly and close them to avoid being caught.

    According to estimates from consultant RedSeer, in the run up to the festivals, retailers including Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart saw a 55% jump in online sales from a year ago to $4.1 billion for the period 15-21 October. 


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