KOCHI: Techies are considered masters of the cyber world. Interestingly, many working in the IT sector are becoming easy targets of online job fraudsters in recent times. The police have received numerous complaints from techies who were duped by fraudsters on the promise of providing high-salary jobs.
Arun K S, Station House Officer (SHO) of Cyber Police Station in Kochi, said it is surprising that fraudsters are easily duping people working in the IT sector. He says every month they receive five to 10 complaints from people who have lost money to online job rackets.
“The general perception is that people working in the IT sector are less vulnerable to cyber attacks. However, many employees of various companies in Infopark have fallen victim to cyber fraud. The fraudsters run fake websites promising jobs with attractive packages. Some job portals operate through social media platforms. Techies who like to upgrade to higher positions with better salary packages fall for the trap. Such cases have been rising for some time,” he said.
Another police officer in Cyberdome said in most cases, the fake job websites originated in other states, mostly north India. “When we go after these sites, it is revealed that these fake websites are from New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Haryana. It is hard to track them and arrest them. They collect details of aspirants from other job portals before approaching them via Whatsapp or SMS,” he said.
The Lockdown and work from home practise have made circumstances favourable for such cyber crimes. “Many have lost employment during the pandemic and are desperate for a job. So, many are ready to pay an amount to get the job. Since interviews are also held online with no office visits, aspirants get easily cheated. In many cases, victims also received fake appointment letters. They only realised that they had been cheated very late,” he said.
Jerry Jose, who heads a startup based in Ernakulam engaged in the employment sector, said job ads are also posted in open online markets and classifieds websites. “But when job aspirants approach these advertisers, they seek money. In some cases, the employer details would be fake. Some advertisements promise jobs in well-reputed MNCs. Only after paying the money does the job aspirants realise they were duped,” he said.
Jerry added that job aspirants should prefer reputed websites and agencies to search for new jobs.
“There are websites which double-check employer details before posting advertisements. Jobseekers should confirm the ads after checking with the employer firm, as most companies, especially MNCs, give details of vacancies on their websites,” he said.
CAUSE FOR CONCERN
Police say every month they receive five to 10 complaints from people who have lost money to online job rackets. In most cases, the fake job websites were originated in other states, mostly in North India