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The modus operandi worked like this: The gang had three teams.
The first was involved in stealing vehicles, the second created fake documents, registration certificates and insurance using photoshop software, and the third posted the pictures of vehicles and fake documents online. These vehicles were offered for half the prices.
A large number of stolen vehicles are finding their way into online classified ad platforms such as OLX and Quikr. As an intermediary, these platforms have little information about the users and the transactions. The companies, however, are aware of the misuse of their platforms, and are setting up teams and systems to identify such ads so that those could be investigated for fraud and flagged.
OLX, one of the largest online selling platforms, gets about 20,000 car listings a month, out of which 25% are rejected. Quikr claims to be getting about 1 lakh listings of cars and two-wheelers a month, from which 40% are rejected.
There is an increasing number of stolen vehicles finding their way into these websites, said Balsingh Rajput, superintendent of police (cyber), Maharashtra. “It is easy to list vehicles on such sites and fraudsters kind off get away too,” he said.
These websites said they employ filters including artificial intelligence-based systems to detect potential fraudsters. But these don’t help in fully preventing fraudsters from using the platforms.
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