Online job frauds rise as people get laid off
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A number of people are currently in dire need of jobs after getting laid off due to the ongoing pandemic. The crisis of jobs has largely forced people to go to any extent just to get a decent job and many are willing to pay as well. The police, however, have cautioned aspirants about the spurt in job frauds and warned them to refrain for paying before physical verification.

Recently Pradeep Bhalekar, 28, an assistant manager at a private firm lost his job after the company decided to lay off their employees due to losses it incurred during the pandemic. The company did pay his dues but it was enough only for a couple of months and Bhalekar began to search for a job opportunity.

Days after he lost his job in September, Bhalekar had uploaded his resume on job portal, only to receive a call from an 'employer', who promised him with a decent salary. But the potential employer turned out to be a fraudster who duped him to the tune of Rs 5 lakh.

The unemployment rate has almost doubled in the past two years across the country and amidst the lockdown it has only increased. This unemployment scenario has given rise to a number of online job frauds, which is an attempt to defraud people in need of jobs.

The modus operandi to dupe aspirants is to give a false hope/promise of better or just an employment and charging them fees until they realize that they have been cheated.

While explaining the con an official said, “The fraudsters either steal or buy data from job portals and contact the aspirants posing as the employer of a reputed firm. The fraudsters then continue to dupe the victims of their money. The recent spurt in case is alarming, but a large number of cases often go unreported. This could be due to many reasons, be it lack of awareness or innovative ways used by cyber criminals among others.

"We have seen spurt in cyber crime since the lockdown and especially job frauds has picked up pace lately. The tricks to identify an online job fraud is simply keeping an open eye while dealing and check before divulging details to anybody," said Pushkar Zantye, a cybercrime investigator.

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