Harminder Singh (22) has a Bachelor of Computer Application degree from a reputed institute and boasts of several assignments executed successfully over the past year.
However, the assignments, called 'projects' by him, were not what one might associate with a cyber professional. But this garb helped him and his associate dupe hundreds of job seekers, hoping to land a government job.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Singh, along with his associate Parminder, for allegedly floating fake government websites using the country's national emblem to advertise for fictitious government jobs.
The agency had received specific complaints against the accused and had put them under scanner.
Their modus operandi was effective. They posed as representatives of government authorities and would run their 'office' from temporarily rented addresses and temporary websites to receive applications and fee for fake jobs.
The accused duo had collected application fee worth several lakhs of rupees from job aspirants.
A CBI source said, "To avoid suspicion, the accused would ask for a nominal fees and use names of government schemes or offices that sounded similar to the genuine ones." For example, they used names like 'Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Awam Suchna Sansthan' and 'NAREGA Samiti' to lure job aspirants.
The source said the duo had established a network of unsuspecting retail sellers of job applications. "The accused would print fake job application forms and then hand them over for free to retail sellers to sell," said the source.
He added, "Once a substantial amount in the mode of fee from applicants was procured, the accused would withdrawn the amount from a bank account operated by them and linked to accounts temporarily opened for their fake job advertisements." The accused would then shut down the website once the money was collected.
"Each operation to collect money against a fake job was terminated after three-four months and replaced by a fresh exercise," said the officer.
The accused were charged for fraud and under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act and the State Emblem of India Act. Most victims of the job racket were from the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal, said the source.