The growing popularity of working remotely from home has increased chances for people, but it has also created new difficulties for job seekers because many find it difficult to distinguish between legitimate opportunities and dubious schemes.
Online calls and data entry work are some of the simplest remote employment options, but they are also the most popular with con artists who ensnare unwary victims and disappear with their money.
Employment issues and con artists
According to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, the jobless rate in India increased to 8.30% in December 2022, the highest level in 16 months (CMIE).
According to CMIE, the average unemployment rate in India is 7.85 percent as of January 13, 2023, while it is 9.44 percent in urban regions.
With generous monthly salaries, the con artists seduce job seekers who are innocent and in need of work. Before starting their employment or within a month or two of joining, they defraud applicants with their money by asking them to pay a security deposit to cover the cost of the services supplied. Either before the task begins or a month or two into the job, the victims are defrauded of their money.
According to media reports, fraudsters are not only found in India, as several police investigations have shown. There have been tales of individuals being victims of con artists headquartered in the Middle East. The 'employers' or recruiters are frequently well-spoken professionals with phony websites and profiles that appear real to the average individual, giving their traps more credence.
According to Rohit (name changed upon request), he followed a Telegram job posting in October 2021 for the position of personal manager at VR Company and communicated on WhatsApp with a recruiter imposter. He was 24 years old and a resident of Ranchi, Jharkhand.
He was required to log into their website and enter his personal information, including his name, age, and mailing address.
The recruiter informed Rohit that he could withdraw his money daily, but he first needed to deposit Rs. 3,000 using an online payment gateway on a UPI ID.
Rohit remarked, "I felt our entire discussion dubious and chose not to join them".
The webpage link that Rohit provided was discovered to be broken. Interestingly, these payment gateway providers are either impossible to trace or very difficult to trace. Following the incident, the Telegram group was also blocked, according to Rohit.
Additionally, it has been observed that fraudsters now prefer to defraud many people with small sums of money rather than a select number of huge sums.
Easy money = Losing money
According to the Vizag Cybercrime Police, a woman from Vizag was defrauded of Rs. 5.4 lakhs earlier in January.
According to media sources, the Visalakshi Nagar resident was called by an unidentified number who offered her a work-from-home position with a competitive income. The claimed fraudsters credited her bank account with Rs 100 after she originally declined their offer to gain her trust. She then consented to work and received Rs. 400 in her account in exchange for being encouraged to like and share various YouTube videos.
After completing a few tasks, the woman was taken to another page and prompted to pay Rs 54,000. She was informed that by paying the requested amount, she would receive a 30% commission and earn a total of Rs. 70,200. She also paid commissions totaling Rs. 88,000, Rs. 2,50,000, and Rs. 1,50,000.
After making all the payments, the victim still had to make a further payment to receive her deposit back. When she finally realized what had happened, she filed a report with the Vizag Cybercrime Police Station. The case is being looked into further.
Dreams and funds lost!
According to reports on Saturday, two individuals working for a recruitment firm tricked a 27-year-old Thane resident into believing he would be working in Azerbaijan in December.
According to a representative, the complaint was filed at the Kapurbawdi police station. He alleges that the accused demanded Rs 95,000 in payment for a variety of charges in exchange for promising to provide him work as a mobile crane operator in Azerbaijan.
After payments, his airline ticket and employment offer letter were discovered to be fraudulent. The accused allegedly closed the office after the payment and left. According to sources, a police investigation found that they had similarly defrauded about 25 job applicants for a total of Rs 22 lakh.
According to a different report, on December 29, Visakhapatnam police arrested a fraudster ring that had been defrauding people by pretending to offer internet part-time jobs. According to ANI, the police detained six people in connection with the case: Suman Sah, Subham Singh, Deepak Sargra, Ranveer Chouhan, Mittu la Jat, and Vikas basitha. The group was said to be led by young people from Rajasthan's Bilwa gang.
According to the police, the group stole a total of Rs. 2.5 crore from 78 victims. Additionally, 30 mobile phones, 20 SIM cards, 26 ATM cards, 37 bank checks, 56 counterfeit stamps, and 8 flexies with phony company names were taken from their possession.
The police said, "They were fabricating SIM cards using the fingerprints of persons coming for Aadhar and defrauding them."
A mysterious bogus government website
A fraudulent website for the Jharkhand State Public Services Commission was developed by scammers to advertise job applications (JPSC).
On the website, candidates were urged to submit applications for the 7,756 open positions between December 13, 2022, and January 2023.
The Jharkhand government declared the website to be fraudulent and stated that if anyone fell for the scam, they would be responsible for covering their own expenses.
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