India is a land of scams. Every moment in the country, someone is scamming another, and this has become so obvious that we have actually accepted scams as part of our lives and are refusing to see scams as scams but as how the society works in general. The only scams that people, as well as the great Indian media, seems to be worried about are when they have something to do with politicians when politicians are not the only persons scamming the people and 2G scam and Coalgate Scam are not the only scams that happened or are happening in the country.
Indians are being scammed each day in thousands of ways, and here are 7 very common public scams that are happening right now under the very nose of the public.
1. Activating value-added services without the consent of customers by the telecom companies
One of the most common ways in which the telecom companies dupe its customers is by activating nonsensical value-added services without the consent of the customers. The uneducated and older people, in particular, suffer the most because of this scam. Since they cannot detect the fraud and cannot call the customer care executives to shout at them, they are being continuously duped and all they could do is complain why their numbers are always low on balance even after frequent recharges.
2. Electronic gadget repairers charging customers for unnecessary things.
In India, people don’t just throw away electronics when they stop working. They would continue repairing them until they are beyond repair, and this good habit of the Indians, coupled with their ignorance, leads to a scam that is more widespread than people would like to agree. The scam is charging customers with damaged electronics hundreds of times more than the actual cost of repairing. Since people put blind faith on the technicians, they sometimes charge thousands of rupees saying that major components of the machines are damaged when it could easily be minor parts and can be replaced under a hundred rupees. The easiest way to not fall for such scam is doing a little bit of online research before taking the machines to the technicians.
3. Petrol pump attendants pretending like they don’t hear you the first time
If a customer is someone who does not pay much attention while filling up the tank of his/her vehicle, he/she might have been scammed several times already. One of the most common tricks that the pump attendants try on customers who they find are not watchful is pretending that they made a mistake while hearing and take advantage of their carelessness. For instance, if a customer has told him to put petrol worth Rs. 500 in the tank, and as soon as he/she is done telling that, he/she pulls out his/her phone and starts scrolling. However, the pump attendant might press Rs 100 instead and a while later, while the customer is still not paying attention, he would say he is done, but he never really started the machine. The customer then corrects him and says it was meant for Rs 500. He would then proceed to put petrol worth Rs 400 more and this time the customer would be paying attention. Interestingly, he (customer) might be thinking that he bought petrol of Rs 500, but in fact, his/her tank has only Rs 400 worth of oil.
4. Online retailers who ask for advance transfer of money
If someone is not a frequent buyer from online marketplaces like Quikr and OLX, he/she will not be aware of the huge magnitude of scams happening in these places until he/she is scammed too. Here is how the scams take place. First, the buyer will be lured by some products with a cheap rate and he/she will be too eager to make the purchase. He/she contacts the seller and now he/she will be told that the seller is actually not from India. He/she will still be intrigued to make the purchase and will agree to the condition that he/she will make a certain percent (sometimes as high as 50 per cent) of the cost as advance via online transfer. He/she then make the payment and wait for the product to arrive, but he/she will never receive the product.
5. Charging extras in the name of GST
Average Indians, in general, have a very low interest to know how taxes work and often end up paying for things more than they should in the name of taxes. The introduction of GST in the recent time was perhaps one of the only times when a large number of Indians were interested to know more about taxation, but sadly, most of the people are still more confused despite the simplification. And taking advantage of the situation, the shop and restaurant owners indulge in organized loot which many are often not aware of. Two of the most common ways in which GST is being misused to scam people are charging a higher rate of tax for a product or service that falls in a lower tax slab and charging additional taxes over MRP when MRP includes all the taxes that need to be paid already.
6. Conmen with different sob stories in different states
The world is full of kind people and some people know it and they are out there to find those people and deceive them. In India, such kind of deceitful people are found in every city and with cities and areas, their stories change too. In places like Bengaluru, these people approach kind looking unaware people to ask for some money to buy petrol, saying they have forgotten to bring their wallet and are out of petrol, while in places like Dimapur (Nagaland) they would approach saying that some contractors have scammed them after bringing them from places like Mumbai for work and now they need money to buy food. People generally want to help and pay whatever money they ask for, which often isn’t much, but in the end, these are all scams and they are just parasites feeding on the kindness of people.
7. Extra charges for delivering cooking cylinders which goes to the deliverers’ pockets
Charging extra money for delivering cylinders is yet another very common scam happening in India right now that affects almost all the people, and while, at a cursory look at an individual level, it doesn’t appear like much big of a scam, but collectively, it is huge. The guys who usually deliver the cooking cylinders claim that they charge it as wages, when in fact they are being paid for their jobs already and nowhere in the bill is the extra charge being mentioned, meaning they are not supposed to be charging this. People who don’t think twice before paying the extra actually contributes to this scam knowingly. And because everyone seems to be paying out the extras, even those who know it is wrong are still following the pattern, those delivery guys each keep making an extra of more than Rs 50,000 per month.