Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Beware! Fake Job Offers On The Rise With 'Freshers'

By Lokesh Settiar / Bangalore

Intel Files Police Complaint, Nasscom Plans Big Public Campaign. Fake job interview letters and agents claiming to be working on behalf of companies to hire people have become a menace again, and those looking for jobs should watch out. It’s expected to get particularly bad this year with fewer jobs on offer and many more students passing out of colleges. 
Intel India has just filed a police complaint in Bangalore, after it found that at least two people had received fraudulent letters calling them for interviews at the company’s office and asking them to make a security deposit of Rs 7,850 prior to the interview. 
Bosch, which perhaps has been the biggest victim of this in recent weeks, has issued public messages warning people about fraudulent interview calls. Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, HCL Technologies are others whose names have been used to send out such mails, as per complaints on the online platform of cyber crime complaints.
Preethi Madappa, director-HR in Intel South Asia, said the company was using its Facebook page also to warn people about it. IBM said it has a fraud a lert’ section in its recruitment portal and Facebook page, and since most of those who are duped are freshers, it has sent fraud alerts to all registered engineering colleges. 
Nasscom vice president K S Viswanathan, who is leading an initiative to curb people-related malpractices in the IT industry, said these problems peak at the beginning of the academic session (June-August), when companies start making campus offers. He said the problem was grave, and the IT industry body was set to launch a massive public campaign to make everybody aware that the industry does not have a practice of having an agent in between to collect money for employment.
The fraudsters’ methods are the same in most cases. Mails are drafted on what look like genuine letterheads with the company’s logo. One such letter purportedly from Bosch says, “Your resume has been selected from one of the various job sites we hire for our plant. Bosch HRD selected 52 candidates…Designation and job location will be fixed by-Bosch HRD at the time of final process.” The letters then invariably ask the candidate to make a refundable security deposit, only in cash, into a certain HR manager’s account. 

The amounts that INN has seen ranges from Rs 6,725 to Rs 15,890. The amount, the letters say, will pay for the air ticket, accommodation and food during the interview period, and will be refunded in full as soon as the interview is over. It even provides an explanation for why the money needs to be deposited into the HR manager’s account and not a company account: “because it will be easier to refund the money immediately after the interview”. 
Many will immediately recognize the letter to be a fraud, considering the quality of its language, and the effort to get the candidate to put money into a non-company account. But many who are desperate for jobs do succumb. One victim, Santosh Kumar Patel, who complained on cyber crime complaints said he deposited Rs 6,725 towards an “HCL interview” only to find later when he went to HCL that there was no such interview. 
Intel’s Madappa advices candidates to apply for jobs only through the company’s own jobs website. Nasscom’s Viswanathan said he was glad companies were recognizing the need to take the matter up strongly, noting that Tata Technologies in Pune had previously filed an FIR on a similar issue.

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