Tamil Nadu

Job rackets on the rise in Tamil Nadu

Desperate youth are lured via fake ads, emails, social media posts and WhatsApp forwards

With the employment market looking bleak, job racketeers are mushrooming across the State and baiting graduates desperate to be hired.

The racketeers are luring people into their trap through advertisements, emails, social media posts, messages on WhatsApp groups and posters in public places like trains. This is not something new and has been happening for decades. But with more people unemployed and desperate for jobs, they have become soft targets for these racketeers.

‘Training fee’

A few days ago, a fake advertisement was doing rounds on social media and WhatsApp groups, calling engineering graduates for an interview for openings in Infosys. The advertisement said that the interview would be held at a hotel in Goripalayam, Madurai. Santhosh (name changed), an engineering graduate, said that he was ready to attend the interview despite knowing the fact that he had to pay a deposit of ₹1.5 lakh as a “training fee”, if he cleared the tests. “I have been looking for a job for over a year now. I was ready to pay the money for the brand name of Infosys. Luckily, someone alerted me that it was a fake ad and I dropped the interview plan,” he said.

He added that he and his friends, having planned to attend the interview, did not want to complain, fearing legal complications. When this correspondent called the number, the lady on the other end said that she was a director with Infosys. “We are looking at hiring 10,000 candidates over the next three months. But, if selected, you will have to pay a security of ₹2 lakh, which is refundable after the training period,” she said.

Two days later, when this reporter agreed and requested the woman to meet her in person, the latter said the interview was only done over phone. Later, she blocked the number.

Offer letter

Such racketeers are not just targeting the IT sector, they are offering jobs in e-commerce, retail, aviation and even in government. The racketeers, after an initial call, tell the victims that they have been selected and send a fake offer letter within hours. Once the money is transferred into the account provided, they abscond.

Last month, Chennai-based V. Gopalakrishnan, came across job postings on OLX (an online marketplace) and applied for them. He managed to get offers letters from three firms, after which he realised that they were fake.

“There should be a dedicated helpline where affected parties can call and complain. I did send a complaint letter to the vigilance department of one of the firms from which an offer letter was ostensibly given to me. Till date, there has been no response,” Mr. Gopalakrishnan said.

A human resource (HR) professional who wished anonymity said that Tamil Nadu is an easy target for racketeers as there are many engineering colleges here.

“There were instances a few years ago when the racketeers managed to go to the college campus itself to lure candidates,” he said. He said that the government should closely watch the job scam market.

“With IT and automobile firms in Tamil Nadu trimming their workforce, the racketeers, who are like sleeper cells, get activated. It’s time the government creates some awareness amongst the public on this,” another HR executive said.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:50:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/job-rackets-on-the-rise-in-tamil-nadu/article30073059.ece

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