The police arrested a young software engineer for allegedly duping hundreds of unemployed graduates by collecting money from them after promising to get them jobs in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Shraddha Saswati Mohanty (23), a resident of Old Town, Bhubaneswar, a graduate engineer from Mahamaya Institute of Medical and Technical Science in Odisha, had attended a programme organised by ISRO in Bangalore and Mysore in July 2012, and had applied for a job as junior scientist in the premier science organisation. However, she was rejected in the final interview.
But she decided to make the most of her ‘experience’. The police said that she not only created a fake ISRO portal and identity cards but also opened an account in a nationalised bank as an ISRO employee. She then contacted over 15 engineering colleges and schools across Orissa, offering to conduct campus interviews, and reportedly duped students and job aspirants there of over Rs. 1 crore by offering them jobs.
Explaining how she pulled it off, J.C. Nagar subdivision police said Mohanty, passing herself off as an ISRO scientist, floated fake placement offers and internships among the college authorities through the fake ISRO portal’s e-mail, asking them to deposit a ‘processing fee’.
The fake portal also offered placement options and internship at ISRO. She claimed in the portal that after 10 months’ training, students would be placed as junior scientist at ISRO, Bangalore. Many colleges and the aspiring students took the bait and deposited lakhs, the police said.
The scam came to light when some students started demanding offer letters. Buckling under the pressure, she issued a few to the students, who turned up at ISRO’s office in Bangalore.
Shocked by this, the ISRO authorities filed a complaint with the jurisdictional Sanjaynagar police, who traced Mohanty with the help of the cyber crime sleuths. Preliminary investigations revealed that she had duped more than 50 job aspirants and many colleges, Assistant Commissioner of Police Omkaraiah said. So far five cases have been registered against her.