Along with the oxygen crisis, another unpleasant development has come to the fore. Oxygen cylinder scams are being reported across the country as citizens scramble to arrange for oxygen cylinders for loved ones. Several such victims have taken to social media platforms to state their plight after they lost their money as well as relatives after the promised oxygen cylinders failed to get delivered.
“This happened with my friend. It is the first number. They took 42,000 in the name of the oxygen cylinder and now the number is blocked. This happened in the afternoon. Please help. This is 1-month salary for him,” says Sundeep Sharma while sharing the number of scammers. While the desperation to obtain cylinders is understandable, there are a few steps citizens can take to ensure themselves as well as others do not fall prey to such criminals.
How Oxygen Cylinder Scams Work
- Scammers share their numbers along with oxygen cylinder availability on social media platforms. They even reply on threads of victims requesting for oxygen.
- The victim calls the scammers with the request for oxygen cylinders. Scammer ensures availability.
- Scammers ask for advance payment via PayTM or other UPI payment options.
- Once the victim transfers the money, the scammer blocks their number.
How to Avoid and Report Oxygen Cylinder Scams?
Although it is devastating that certain individuals would indulge in such scams during this time of need, there are a few steps one can take to ensure scammers fail:
- Do not make advance payment to anyone, and insist on obtaining the product before making payment.
- Only contact numbers that have been verified through official sources. Avoid calling un-verified numbers that are shared on social media.
- Those who have been scammed can call Delhi Police on 155260 or 01123469900 to report such fraudsters.
- Report against such individuals may also be filed on cybercrime.gov.in.
- Also, make sure to publicly share the numbers of scammers while asking others to be vigilant.