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Job slump? Beware of frauds!

Abhishek Shukla in New Delhi | January 14, 2009 14:06 IST

The economic slowdown, which caused severe job-cuts across the country, has brought new opportunities for frauds who, masquerading as representatives of IT companies, are luring employment-seekers with promises of good placements in lieu of some 'security amount'.

The frauds using names of Information Technology bigwigs like HCL [Get Quote], Wipro [Get Quote] and other companies are sending e-mails to job-seekers, especially fresh graduates from management schools, promising them jobs in these companies at attractive pay-scales if they deposit some 'refundable' deposits in their personal accounts.

Such mails have forced IT behemoth HCL Technologies to raise the issue with National Association of Software and Services Companies and cyber crime cells of the police department. The company has even asked banks to 'work on' account numbers mentioned in such mails.

Their modus operandi is simple. First, a three-line mail is send requesting the candidate to urgently forward his or her resume for a particular company. The senders use email ids like: wipro.hr.4@gmail.com, employer@timesjobs.com, hcl.computer.ltd@gmail.com to make their communications seem authentic.

Once the candidate replies back, another e-mail hits the inbox with details of date and venue of the interview for the company. But this one comes with a rider to deposit anything from Rs 4,000 to 10,000 in a particular bank account as refundable security.

One such mail read, "Your offer letter with air tickets will be sent to your home address by courier after receiving the confirmation of interview security deposited in HDFC Bank [Get Quote]."

"When I received the mail, I spotted several mistakes in its language leading to suspicion that the senders may not be genuine. The sender asked me to deposit the money in a private bank in the account of one Sachin Kumar," said Ashutosh (name changed), a fresher from a leading management school.

He is not the only one. While he had received the mail from HCL, one of his friends Rohit (name changed) had received a mail claiming to be from Wipro Technologies.

"The current slowdown has faded our chances of lucrative job. So once I received the mail, I almost decided to deposit the money. But on the second read, it looked fishy," he said.

These mails seem to be originating from a common group of people as they had used similar language in such mails. The only difference was the names and account numbers where money was to be deposited.

When contacted, HCL Technologies denied any such mail being sent by them or their authorised Human Resource providers, calling the mails misleading.

"We take such matters very seriously and are working with the police authorities and Nasscom to curb such malpractices. We urge all job applicants to be vigilant on this and any other similar fraud impacting them," Ravishankar B, senior vice-president, head-Telent Management Group at HCL told PTI.

Accepting that the issue was 'plaguing companies across various business segments', he said the company recruits candidates only from its hiring offices, job portals and a network of certified HR consultants.

"In some cases, we have also worked with banks and asked them to work on account numbers mentioned in such mails. Know-Your-Customer of such accounts is still an issue, which we re trying to understand from banks," he added.



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