“Smartphone for sale — just for 150 Euros” says on the ad in classified marketplace.
Martin finally finds something of his budget. He contacts the ad poster.
Martin: Hi, I saw the ad for a smartphone on an online marketplace. I would be interested to buy it. Could you give me more details?
Seller: Sure, it is in perfect working condition, comes with warranty, all accessories…
Martin: Great I would like to buy it. Could you send me your bank account details and I will make the payment immediately. I need the smartphone to be delivered by tomorrow as my wife needs a replacement and is travelling the day after tomorrow.
Shortly after, seller receives a screenshot image of payment successfully made.
Martin: It might take a day for the money to show up in your account.
Seller: Thanks, i will send the item as soon as possible.
What happens then? What goes wrong?
Before we reveal full story, let us have a little more understanding of how online marketplaces can put your money at risk. Every year, millions of dollars are lost in money scams over online marketplaces. A survey from Australian competition and consumer commission stated that there was a loss of $90 928 622 with 161528 cases in 2017. The simple truth is that; all scams look too good to be true. Be it an item worth 10 dollars to millions of dollar deals — everything is vulnerable in online marketplaces.
In case of Martin and the seller — here’s what happened.
Seller sent the item to Martin immediately. Seller checks his bank account after 3 working days, but he has not received any money. Martin has sent a fake screenshot. Martin is missing. Seller never received any money and lost his phone.
There are countless of scams every year that look too good to be true!
Scams have created many issues for people and since a long time, world is struggling with these money mule schemes. One of the such earliest scams, dates back to as far as 1807. The scam came to be known as the “Spanish Prisoner Letter”, when the criminal would dupe the victims by writing a letter promising to pay huge chunks of money or treasure, in return for a small advance of funds paid for his business or warfare. The goal was to target the victims’ sentimentality or by greed.
The very early letters were crafted well, with bunch of evidences that they looked too good to be true. Over the years, in early 1990’s, after the advent of internet, the Nigerian Princess scams took the prominence of creating disasters around the world.
While the letters were a primary platform to dupe the victims in 19th century, internet became the fooling spot for 21st century. Mostly, scammers target online marketplaces to cheat the victims.
All of these problems arise because of trust, transactions, transparency and identities. For more than 200 years of scams, money mules, the world suffered from untraceable frauds and now, with the help of new technology, we decided to eradicate these problems.
Based on blockchain model, Monetha records every transaction and lets buyers and sellers verify each other before doing any deals. The buyer can leave a review only after buying from seller (and actually paying) and the seller can leave a review only after selling to a buyer. The product features are displayed and when the buyer demands refund, Monetha verifies the data and takes necessary action.
Written by monethian — Chaitra