Friday, January 28, 2011

Recruitment Frauds: Job Aspirants beware!

Those desperate for a job are easy prey for conmen. Years of education haven’t educated many of us with street smartness and we often get fooled by fraudsters. There were many instances of recruitment related frauds of late and hence this post.

Below: A fake job letter in the name of Hyundai, offering huge salaries and asking for security deposit...

The Modus Operandi of fooling desperate job seekers is simple: Send them a communication (either by email or post) that they’ve been shortlisted for a high paying job in a reputed company and need to attend final round of selection process. The company would pay for travel and accommodation for this final interview, but candidate needs to pay a few thousand rupees towards safety deposit. The mail is nicely crafted to indicate that this money will be refunded after the interview and is necessary to prevent loss to the company due to candidates who do not turn up. Gullible job seekers believe this story and deposit money as indicated and that will be the end of it. No more communication and no air ticket comes their way.

This has been going on for more than a decade-neither the law enforcing agencies have geared up to prevent this, nor the youth have become smart enough to smell such frauds. Way back in 2004-2005, when I was in Final Year, I’d received one such job offer, indicating that I’m selected for the post of Sr Executive in a company in Delhi.  All I had to do was deposit 700 Rs in a specific ICICI bank account. For my qualification I would have only got an entry level job and  hence this was fishy. I went to Charmarajpet branch of ICICI Bank- the then Manager opened the account in his system and confirmed that something is wrong- the account was held with a UP branch of the Bank and was receiving money from all over India. Every 30 mins, amount was being withdrawn from an ATM in UP. The Manager promised to take this up with the branch manager of concerned branch and I’ve no clue what happened after that.

Similar mails are being sent even today. Even if 1% of people believe and deposit money, fraudsters get to pocket a few lakhs in few days.

Be aware of how other legitimate companies operate in their recruitment process. Careful reading of the job offer should hint you that it is fake.
  • First and foremost, no legitimate company will blindly issue a job letter without proper selection process (such as written test/interview/GD etc, as applicable). If you’ve never interacted with the said company before and you suddenly land a job with them, something is indeed fishy.
  • If the mail is sent not from Corporate ID but from Web based email IDs (such as instead of it is likely to be fake.
  • If the offer is not addressed to you (your name is not mentioned) or if the job title/description is very generic (Just mentions senior executive, Sr Manager,  Sr. Engineer etc and NOT Sr Manager-Sales or Sr Engineer-Quality etc) and if your qualification/experience is not ideal for the position offered, then the job offer is likely to be fake.
  • If the language of the letter is bad, if it doesn’t give some contact information like telephone numbers, then it could be fake.
  • If a fresher is being offered Manager's job or unrealistic salaries, it is in all probability fake
  • Check if the names of the executives mentioned in the mail are present in LinkedIn. At times, scamsters will use names of real executives in their fraudulent mails. When in doubt, bring it to the attention of concerned official, if he is present in linkedin.
  • If there’s no mention on concerned company’s website about the current recruitment drive or about the job openings, then offer you have might be fake
  • Companies are supposed to have current account. If the mail asks you to deposit money into a SB (Savings Bank) account, then it is run by individuals and not company.
  • No company issues job appointment letter first and then asks for money (as a deposit for air ticket or otherwise). At the max companies will insist that you arrive for personal interview at your own expense. Any offer which demands security deposit to paid is highly likely to be fake.
  • Many Govt Companies collect some money in the name of application fee, at the very beginning of recruitment process. These recruitment process are well advertised in media and amount will be in few hundreds and often needs to be paid through proper bank drafts. No payment will be asked at subsequent stages. No one will instruct to deposit cash in specific accounts.
What to do if you suspect a fraud?
When you suspect a recruitment fraud that asks you to deposit money in a specified bank account, you can do the following to counter it:

1 Identify in which bank the account (to which money is to be deposited) is created. The mail usually mentions Bank Name along with account number. Approach nearest branch manager of Bank in which the account is held. Branch Managers can open account transaction details and if there’s suspicious activity (such as money being deposited into the account from all over India and money being withdrawn from ATM every 30 mins), your local branch manager can alert Manager of concerned branch where account is created and freeze the account.

2 Alert the company in whose name the mails are being circulated. Since their reputation is being spoiled, the concerned company many consider issuing a press release (asking people not to entertain such mails) at the least and may even file criminal case against those who’re sending job offers

3 You can even approach the police and lodge a complaint, better do it in a group for better impact.

Possibly related: Microfinance related deaths in AP * Being Busy * Road trips by Auto Companies- Pros and Cons * Transfers in IT Companies * dealing with interview delays


Ram said...

That is very informative! I am really surprised that many kids who project themselves to be super smart are falling prey to such frauds!


sm said...

good and informative

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Ram and SM

Team G Square said...

nice article ....

dguide said...

Fantastic detective work Hande, i believe some IT savvy guys with the help of dismissed bank employees of the banks propagate such schemes. It is easy to con job seekers, i was once offered recruitment franchisee, he too seemed to be a fraud. Here the role of corporates in directly advertising their vacancies on their website should be ensure to prevent such frauds, cops in cyber cell should track such frauds and finally as responsible citizens we should blow whistle to the world. Kudos

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving us the valuable piece of information and for your social concern. Informative post.

Try posting your blog posts to for more traffic and viewers.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Umesh sir and Anon

A said...

I remember as a kid in the 70s seeings ads in the papers where job seekers had to pay application fee. It was just 5 or 10 Rs perhaps.
So scam guys would advertise bogus jobs and thousands or lacs of people would apply and send a few Rs each. But the collection would be huge and these thieves would just take the money and vanish without having to do interviews or any other hiring work.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes, that's also another trick...

tiny drops make mighty ocean

Deguide said...

I believe corporates have the responsibility to weed out such job racket, they should invite applications to be logged on to their website, and not through recruitment agents, direct newspaper advt too is useful. Campus and job fairs are other means of recruitment which can be popularised

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Umesh Sir:
I agree...

avpower said...

Hi, that's true, many get misled... I have been offering such free workshops in my free time and people still interject so much.... as if we are teaching them not to save their money but reverse...recently I attended an MLM program and I see people listening wide mouth open.... that shows how society themself want to be misled.....