You may receive job offers through SMS, phone calls, and emails. Have you checked to make sure the offer is legitimate? You're wrong if you think these are legitimate offers. Job seekers are often contacted by fraudsters with fake job offers so that they can quickly make money.

A Mumbai man loses Rs 1.20 lakh in a job scam

A 23-year-old Mumbai resident has filed an FIR after being cheated by a cyber fraudster. The complainant, who is a chef by profession, said he was offered a job by the fraudster, who appeared to be a UK citizen.

The man stated in his complaint that he received an email purporting to be sent by one Oliver Phelan. In the email, Phelan offered the complainant a job as a chef for a family in the United Kingdom. The complainant told the police he was offered a salary of 1520 pounds per week.

An agreement was then sent to him via email and he was asked for the signature and copies of his passport. Following the instructions, the complainant received a phone call from a number purporting to be from the UK. 

The phone call came from a UK number. The fraudster also spoke with a British accent, which made the trick. Afterward, he was required to pay Rs 1.20 lakh to complete the recruitment process. According to his complaint, the fraudster told the man the money would be refunded.

He received another email from the fraudster after sending the money. As a result, the complainant did some research on the internet and found that several others had been duped by the same person and used the same email address.

After approaching the police, an FIR was filed on March 12 under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Information Technology Act.

Warning signs of job scams - 

1. Whenever a job offer seems too good to be true, it could be a job scam. Fraudulent job offers usually claim to have found your resume online and are contacting you. 

2. The emails sent by fraudsters offer jobs in an unprofessional manner. These emails lack professionalism in comparison with legitimate ones. Spelling errors are common in such emails. Professionals at reputable companies know how to write well, so they don't make silly mistakes.

3. Any job offer asking for confidential information, such as bank details, is fake. Fraudsters typically ask for banking information, claiming to be able to set up direct deposits or transfer funds to your account. Fraudsters can use this information to commit fraud.

4. Fake jobs usually ask for payment for the offer letter. They usually claim it is refundable. If you make the payment, however, you will not get a refund. You should keep in mind that reputable companies never ask for payments when they are offering jobs.

5.  It is recommended that digital escrow platforms be used for payment. When making an online payment with Escrow, you do not share your financial information with anyone. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch.

How does digital escrow work?

In digital escrow, a third-party account holds the money deposited by the buyer until the seller fulfills the terms of the contract. The escrow company supervises the transacting parties.

What is the role of Digital Escrow in preventing online fraud in India? 

Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch.

Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process. 

There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free. If you ever come across a fraudster asking for OTP, asking you to scan a QR code, or asking you to click on phishing links, you can simply refuse and ask him/her to proceed with the transaction through Vouch.

This is Fraud Story #137. Check back here for more fraud stories and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Safety is not just about protecting your credit, debit card number, and UPI accounts. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!

Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about avoiding frauds like these and how to act when you're becoming a victim of such a situation. 

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