Another OLX Looting Incident from Rawalpindi Surfaces

Buying and selling through classified websites is getting more dangerous, especially in a country where individuals lack awareness and online frauds are on the rise.

On top of this, if anonymous ad posting without any kind of verification is allowed then you can imagine the amount of risks involved with online buying and selling.

It was just during this week that a group was nabbed in Karachi for looting commoners through OLX ads and today we have another incident from Rawalpindi where a student was looted when he posted an ad on OLX for selling his used laptop.

Anonymous ad posting without any kind of verification increases the risks involved with online buying and selling

Hamza Sharif, a university student from Westridge Rawalpindi, posted an ad on OLX for selling his used laptop. He was soon contacted by a so called doctor and both decided to meet at an agreed location on main Peshawar road, Rawalpindi, one of the busiest areas of the city.

Hamza was greeted by two men at the specified time and location explaining that Doctor had an urgent work and they were sent to examine the laptop and take it to the doctor.

To cut the story short, both the men took hold of laptop and fled the scene with Hamza having nothing in hands.

Hamza told ProPakistani that he had registered an FIR in Westridge police station, however there’s nothing much he is expecting from the police.

OLX’s Criminal Silence on Looting Incidents

We understand that there would be countless other unreported cases where sellers are dodged and looted by the criminals.

Not to mention, this has been happening for a long now and despite the growing number of looting incidents, OLX — claimed to be the largest classified website of the country — is apparently taking no measure to deal with the situation.

Which makes sense as there’s no cyber law in the country and there’s no one to ask or question OLX for the type of business they are doing here.

But as a good gesture and to safeguard its users, OLX must take the responsibility and take necessary steps. One of which is explained below.

Anonymous Users are the Real Trouble

With biometric verification of mobile phone users, a cell phone number has now become a real identification for everyone. With a verified mobile phone number, you can not only contact someone but law enforcement agencies can get hold of his entire family background (through NADRA) in case of any misdeeds.

OLX, we wonder why, never verifies the mobile phone numbers of its users as compared to various other classified websites that authenticate cell phone numbers (by sending a verification code in SMS) before taking the ad live.

With SMS authentication of sellers and buyers, classified websites can confirm that its users are legitimate individuals. Not only this, they can also acquire complete contact details of buyers and sellers if ever required.

OLX can make it mandatory for buyers and sellers to verify their phone numbers before they are able to post ads or to view contact details of a seller.

Not to be mentioned, if OLX has verified mobile phone buyers and sellers, then this information can be shared with LEAs in case of any issues who can easily get to the culprits as each phone number is verified and and can be traced back to the owner.

We understand that number of ads posted on classified website with such SMS authentication might get cut but classified websites will get cleaned up to ultimately offer quality ads and more safer environment for the buyers and sellers.

Currently anyone can post anyone’s cell number for an extremely lucrative ad to make the life of victim a hell with several several hundred calls from buyers

Another Plus of SMS Authentication

Anonymous ad posting not only increases the risks involved with buying and selling but the fact that any one can post anyone’s cell phone number for his/her ad is very alarming.

Currently anyone can go ahead and post anyone’s cell number for an extremely lucrative ad to make the life of victim a hell with several dozen or even several hundred calls from buyers.

SMS authentication of users will get this resolved as well.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK