On­line job scams in­crease, cops filed 50 cases last year

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab. bhuyan@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

If you re­ceive an email from an uniden­ti­fied ad­dress where the sender tells you that they found your re­sume on­line and that you are el­i­gi­ble for a lu­cra­tive job in their com­pany, think twice be­fore go­ing ahead with their in­struc­tions.

The email could also be a trap laid by fraud­sters to rob you off a few lakh ru­pees.

Sev­eral res­i­dents have lost up to Rs7 lakh by fall­ing prey to such job scams. Ac­cord­ing to sources from the city crime branch, over 50 such cases were reg­is­tered in the city last year as op­posed to 38 cases reg­is­tered in 2014.

“The big­gest prob­lem in job scams is that the re­ceivers can’t know whether an of­fer is gen­uine or fake. Many of them fall for lu­cra­tive of­fers and end up de­posit­ing huge sums of money to the given bank ac­counts. Many of them also share their bank de­tails ex­pect­ing a job in their favoured city,” said Prat­i­bha Shendge, in­spec­tor from Navi Mum­bai cy­ber cell.

“If the re­ceiver re­sponds to the of­fer, the fraud­sters start ask­ing for money ‘ for clear­ing for­mal­i­ties’. While some peo­ple went on pay­ing the money in dif­fer­ent in­stal­ments, some oth­ers stopped mid­way and ap­proach the po­lice. Re­cently, a group ap­proached the Belapur po­lice af­ter pay­ing a hefty amount for jobs in a pri­vate­sec­tor bank,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Shendge, the fraud­sters try to make their emails sound be­liev­able by l i sting ‘ j ob re­quire­ments’. Usu­ally th­ese re­quire­ments are ridicu­lously sim­ple and al­most ev­ery­one qual­i­fies: ‘Must be 18 years old’, ‘Must be a ci­ti­zen of In­dia’, ‘Must have ac­cess to the in­ter­net’ among oth­ers.

“When the vic­tims ask for a job de­scrip­tion or list of job du­ties, they get the brush- off. The in­ter­viewer ei­ther ig­nores the ques­tions or says some­thing like ‘ don’t worry, we’ll train you,” she said.

“Some f raud emails are well- writ­ten, but many aren’t. Gen­uine com­pa­nies hire pro­fes­sion­als who can write well. If the email con­tains spell­ing, punc­tu­a­tion or gram­mat­i­cal mis­takes, one has to be care­ful about it,” an­other of­fi­cial from cy­ber cell said.

Sev­eral res­i­dents, es­pe­cially the young ones, fall prey to such scams but don’t ap­proach the po­lice as­sum­ing they would gain noth­ing out of it.

Garima Shinde (name changed on re­quest), 24, a res­i­dent of Kamothe said, “I had trans­ferred Rs25,000 to a given bank ac­count for a job which was of­fered to me on­line in De­cem­ber, 2014. How­ever, when they asked for a big­ger amount on an­other pre­text, I started mak­ing en­quires. Then they stopped pick­ing up my calls. How­ever, I did not reg­is­ter an FIR, as I did not want to get my name in po­lice records.”

Shendg e s ai d, “In s uch cases the vic­tims come to us only af­ter pay­ing the hefty amount to the fraud­sters. It is also dif­fi­cult to find where the fraud­sters are based. So cre­at­ing aware­ness is the only so­lu­tion for re­duc­ing such crimes.”

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