Spike in cases of job frauds in city

Spike in cases of job frauds in city

With acute job shortage in the country, tech savvy frauds have upped their game

There is a steep increase in the cases of job-related frauds in the last three years. According to data sourced from the Bengaluru Cyber Crime Police Station, the cases of job frauds in 2017 was 172, it doubled to 382 in 2018 and rose again to 498 in 2019. The latest victim of a job fraud is a Bengaluru-based techie who lost Rs 37 lakh to a promised job offer from the US. He lost the money not once but twice in the online transaction.  

Top officers with the Bengaluru City Police confirm that cases related to job frauds are on the rise. They say that the cheats are changing their methods. Earlier, they would ask potential victims to send them their OTPs (one-time passwords). They now send a code and follow it up with a link, asking the potential victim to click on it and fill a form. Kuldeep Kumar R Jain, DCP (crime) tells Metrolife, “The frauds collect resumes and upload them on online job portals. They then send an e-mail from a fake ID and direct the victims to websites that look like those of reputed companies. They then follow up with phone calls and convince the victim to toe their line.”

Kuldeep points out that frauds keep a keen watch on new resumes being uploaded on online job portals such as Naukri.com and other job platforms. “These portals only act as a service facilitator between the employer and the job-seeking candidate. But the facilitators don’t have a system in place to verify the authenticity of the resume. There is no law that looks into the role of the intermediary. There is no provision to verify how factual the resume is. Sometimes, we find that even basic information is fraudulent. Our biggest challenge in tracing the criminals is a lack of checks and balances. This is also what allows job scams to flourish,” explains Kuldeep.  

How the fraudsters operate 

There is an acute scarcity of jobs in our country. People aged between 25 and 40 years spend considerable time surfing online portals for prospective jobs.

Kuldeep says that the frauds are well-versed with technology and know how to get around every online glitch. “After zeroing in the victim, the fraudsters analyse the bio-data and contact the victim with a possible job offer. They offer the victims an attractive post with a fat salary and lure them into parting with online payments (under various headings). The frauds change their approach based on what the victim has applied for,” says Kuldeep.

He then collects Aadhaar, passport and other documents, saying they are required for visa processing. “The victim is then put on to a consultant who will guide him or her through the process of employment. The victim is asked to pay a certain fee towards consultation, followed by a commission fee and a registration fee as well. They will ask you to pay Rs 100 as processing fee which generates a QR code. In most cases, this QR code is misused and redirected to frisk money from the bank account,” adds Kuldeep. 

Watch out for fake company names

The scamsters create a fake company name or an email id that is similar to something that already exists. “For instance, if they are contacting the victim through Facebook, they create a similar-looking identity called Facelook. Chances are that you could miss noticing it. We have also come across cases where timesnow and been renamed as timesvow in a fake company profile. They also use the data of existing companies to lure potential job seekers. They make every piece of information posted in their websites appear believable,” says a senior officer with the Cyber Crime Police Station.  

Advice from top cops to counter online impersonators

Always verify the specifications when you are asked to fill a form or apply online. Make your own independent inquiries. Go into the details and have another person verify it with you as well. 

Be alert when you are asked to compulsorily fulfil the pre-requisites required for the company. You must cross-check whether it really exists and whether it is required in the first place. 

Be aware of the type of information you share on social media. Create a separate email id only for applying for a job.

Do not encourage or respond to unknown SMSes, WhatsApp messages or calls. Avoid clicking on links shared by strangers. They could contain malware. Format your phone or laptop once or twice a month. 

While online transactions have made banking easier, retaining the same password for many sites makes it easy for hackers to crack. It is advisable to keep changing the password.

 

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