The Internet has made it possible to do many things online with just a few clicks, thanks to modern technology. Most people prefer to apply for jobs online. Despite the benefits of modern technology, there are also many downsides. Fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated, and there is a tidal wave of online job fraud.

Engineer defrauded by a company that promised to get him a job.

A BTech candidate from Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district is accused of having been scammed out of around 4.25 lakh by thieves who promised to provide him with a job at a reputed company. During the week, the 22-year-old filed a police report in relation to this matter. Bhanjanagar police station inspector-in-charge Sudeepta Kumar Sahoo said they had filed a case and began investigating the matter. However, the police did not disclose the victim's name when he requested it.

“The victim uploaded his biodata to various job search websites,” the police said. In the first week of October, one of the job consultants (likely a fraud organization) notified him that his name had been shortlisted for a position in the company. Furthermore, he was informed that his interview would take place online before the final decision was made."

He was offered a job at the company after appearing for an online interview. He had taken his interview with a person who identified himself as the human resource manager.

He paid the company but never got the job. His money was never refunded.

Warning signs of job scams

1. It is a big warning sign of a job scam when a job offer seems too good to be true. A great job is hard to come by. Usually, fraudulent job offers to contact you claiming that they found your resume online. 

2. The job description provided in a fake job offer is unclear. There is no clear indication of what you will be doing.

3. The job offer emails sent by fraudsters are poorly written. They lack professionalism when compared to emails sent by legitimate businesses. They will have a lot of spelling errors in them. As reputable companies have professionals who can write well, they do not make silly mistakes.

4. The job offer is fake if you are asked for confidential information such as bank details. It is common for fraudsters to request your bank account information, claiming to be able to set up a direct deposit or transfer funds to your account. By giving out such information, fraudsters can make fraudulent transactions.

5. A fake job usually requires payment for the offer letter. Many of them claim the amount is refundable. However, if you make the payment, you will not receive a refund. You should keep in mind that reputed companies never ask for payments when offering jobs.

How to avoid online job fraud: 

1. Look closely at the website's contact information. False websites usually do not include their contact information.

2. It is necessary that the URL of a website begin with HTTPS. This indicates that the website is secure and that your payments will be secure. 

3.  If an unknown company is offering offers that seem too good to be true, you should investigate as it could be a scam.

4. Cybercriminals send phishing emails that appear to be from legitimate companies. You should be very careful when clicking unfamiliar links in emails luring you with attractive offers, as this could expose you to malware or identity theft. Be cautious when clicking ads on social media.

5. If a lot of negative reviews have been written against a company, there is a good chance that it is fake.

6. 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 has fulfilled 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 #163. 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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