Mastermind of country’s ‘biggest ever’ job fraud arrested in Aligarh, taken to Bhubaneswar
HT Correspondent letters@htlive
Lucknow Odisha police have said they busted the country’s “biggest ever” job fraud being run from Aligarh and spread over five states. A key accused in the case was arrested from Aligarh district, the police said, adding the scammers targeted unemployed youth in Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha.
According to the police, the department’s economic offence wing arrested one Zafar Ahmed (25), a resident of Civil lines in Aligarh, who is an engineering graduate and one of the masterminds of the scam. He was produced before a local court in Aligarh and taken to Bhubaneswar on five-day transit remand.
“We are very thankful to Aligarh police of Uttar Pradesh for assisting us in arresting the accused. The investigation is still on to unearth the involvement of others and the huge amounts of money amassed by the fraudsters,” said deputy inspector general-EOW (Odisha) JN Pankaj.
He said an estimated 50,000 and more job seekers across the country were duped.
The scam was reportedly being run by a group of high tech-savvy IT professionals from Uttar Pradesh who got help from some expert website developers. This core group was assisted by around 50 call centre employees.
The employees, who hail from Jamalpur and Aligarh, were paid ₹15,000 a month as salary. More than 1,000 fake SIM cards and 530 mobile phones were used in the scam, said the police added.
Police said the scammers were extremely sharp and anticipated every move of police and other law enforcement agencies. They used to communicate through WhatsApp voice calls. To avoid detection, they ensured their phone numbers showed as per their scheme’s name on the callers’ ID.
The police said the scammers never used their personal phones for fraud. Around 100 mule bank accounts were used in the scam. They withdrew money only from “Jan Seva Kendra” using the QR code of Jan Seva Kendras and the mule accounts.
“By such moves, they left zero trails either through phone or bank accounts. The scammers would develop a website resembling a government website displaying the government job advertisement and mainly targeted health or skill department jobs. Some even used ‘Pradhan-Mantri schemes’ to deceive job seekers.”
The fraudsters gave advertisements in local newspapers but ensured that they would use fake identities and transacted money through their mule bank accounts only.
They would charge candidates for registration and interview training from ₹3,000 to ₹50,000 depending on to what extent the candidates trusted them.
(with inputs from ANI)