Your search for a suitable domestic help may or may not end at that ‘registered’ placement agency you discovered through a newspaper advertisement, falling for such publicity blindly could well create fresh problems instead.
Police say tricksters in the city are increasingly targeting residents scouting for domestic helps. For example, a fraudster would advertise in the name of a placement agency and convince you into hiring a domestic help. “Both of them would then abscond after taking a commission and advance salary. At times they even steal from people’s homes,” said a senior police officer.
An Air Force officer couple of southwest Delhi’s Dwarka, fell into this trap after reading a crisp, four-line advertisement in a leading newspaper a few days back.
‘PP Placement and Nursing Services (Registration number 14680),’ the ad read. A couple of phone numbers followed this brief introduction, on which prospective clients could call and hire help.
“It was published along with a host of such ads in the newspaper and was hard to disbelieve the claims. Plus, it had this registration number,” said K.J. Roshan, a serving Wing Commander in the Air Force, who lives with his wife Urmila Sahu and their two school going children in Mandakani Apartments, Sector 2.
Roshan wanted a fulltime maid and after speaking over the phone to a man claiming to be the agency owner, was asked to wait for a few days. “Two days later another man fixed an appointment and reached my house with a 19-year-old girl, Poonam Gupta, who had a proper bio data. The girl was quite capable and cleaned my children’s room quite convincingly,” said Roshan.
Roshan immediately filled up the hiring form and handed the agency representative his commission of Rs 6,000 and advance salary of Rs 2,000 for Poonam. A few hours later at about 7 pm, Roshan asked his children to show Poonam around the colony.
“Within a few minutes, she left my children alone, saying that she wanted to go to a washroom. She never returned,” said Roshan, who then reached Sangam Vihar in south Delhi, the address of the agency office that was mentioned on the hiring form.
He searched the area for an hour and eventually approached the police who took him to the given address –– a private school.
“The police told me they already have a case registered against the same agency. The phones of the owners were also switched off,” said Roshan, who then registered a case of cheating and forgery at the Dwarka police station.