A company official alleged that cyber frauds had placed a fake ad on a job search engine.
A Powai-based BPO company has lodged a police complaint against unidentified people who allegedly placed advertisements on a job search engine under its own name and collected “application fees” for the same. The fraud came to light when one of the job aspirants contacted the company and informed them about the advertisement.
BS Manglurkar, who works as the head of an administration department at Athena BPO Pvt Ltd, lodged the complaint. On October 13, Manglurkar received a call from a man who identified himself as Sharad Acharya. The caller asked Manglurkar if the BPO had vacancies for jobs with a “work-from-home” option. Manglurkar told Acharya that the BPO did not offer such jobs.
The police said Acharya told Manglurkar about the advertisement on a job-search portal. “Manglurkar then immediately checked on the said job search website and came across an advertisement under the BPO’s name, which stated that there was a vacancy for a government-approved Indian Railway IRCTC data verification project. A website address, the BPO’s name and its logo were also included in the advertisement. The advertisement also stated that in order to get home-based jobs, the applicant would need to pay Rs 1,030 as an application fee and provided a PayTM account information to get the money deposited. The advertisement also contained a mobile number, which it claimed was of BPO,” said an officer from Powai police station.
The police official contacted the number advertised and the person who received the call claimed to be speaking from Athena BPO. The person also provided two bogus email IDs, which included the BPO’s names. “Realising that someone had deliberately created a bogus advertisement and provided bogus company details and had used its logo with the intention to dupe job aspirants, Manglurkar approached the police,” the officer said.
After carrying out a preliminary inquiry in the matter, the police registered a case on Monday under sections 66C (punishment for identity theft) and 66D (cheating by impersonation by using a computer resource) of the Information Technology Act against unidentified people.
A police official advised the public to be wary of the content available online. “One should be very careful while surfing through internet,” the official said. “Any information that is shared on the internet should not be taken at face-value and should be duly verified before making any monetary transactions. In this case, the BPO officials were fortunate that an alert job aspirant managed to make a thorough enquiry about the BPO and contacted the right person. We would not rule out the possibility of a lot of unsuspecting people who could have been cheated by the cyber-frauds through this modus-operandi and hence we appeal citizens to come forward and lodge a police complaint if they have been duped by such bogus advertisers on the internet.”
Speaking about how the police would trace the culprits, the officer said, “We will examine the IP address used to create the bogus website and email IDs of the BPO, trace the user of the PayTM account that was provided to get the money deposited and the person who was using the mobile number provided in the bogus job advertisement.”
Fraudsters collecting fees using firm’s logo, claims Powai BPO
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