Instagram iPhone scam costs man ₹29 lakh; here’s how to avoid online scams

Online payment scams are becoming increasingly common in India, with cybercrimes on the rise. Recently, a man in Ghitorni, New Delhi was reportedly defrauded of 29 lakh while attempting to purchase iPhones through Instagram. The victim has filed a fraud complaint against the unknown perpetrators.

According to a report on, the victim, identified as Vikas Katiyar, informed the police that he had come across an Instagram page offering iPhones at significantly discounted rates a few days ago. Katiyar admits to being enticed by the low prices and subsequently attempts to make a purchase.

The report mentioned the complaint stating, “After checking the page and to make sure that the page is genuine, he also contacted the old buyers from one other Instagram page and they confirmed that the page is genuine, they have received the phones without any issue, and he can buy from there. Later on February 6, 2023, Katiyar made a call to a particular mobile number in order to purchase an iPhone.”

Katiyar alleges that the sellers of the discounted iPhones demanded an upfront payment of 28,000, equivalent to 30 per cent of the phone’s value. Subsequently, the group contacted Katiyar through multiple phone numbers and requested additional funds, claiming it was for customs and tax clearance.

The complaint details that Katiyar transferred a total of 28,69,850 (approximately 29 lakh) to multiple accounts, believing that he would receive the iPhone once the payment was made. However, Katiyar has yet to receive the phone or a refund, according to the report. An FIR has been filed at the Cyber Police Station in Delhi’s South West District.

Here are some tips to ensure online purchase safety:

1. Verify the authenticity of the website or seller before making a purchase, especially when buying from Instagram pages that seem unreliable.

2. Exercise caution when making online payments and double-check the recipient’s account details before transferring funds.

3. If buying from an unverified page, opt for cash on delivery to pay only after receiving the product.

4. Avoid clicking on suspicious links and downloading attachments from unknown sources.

5. Use secure payment methods like credit/debit cards or e-wallets.

6. Keep a record of the transaction and proof of payment.

7. Never share sensitive information such as passwords, OTPs, or bank details with anyone.

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