A job racket operating in the name of the Union Health Ministry cheated at least 27,000 applicants. In a period of a month, they collected a registration fee totaling about Rs 1.09 crores, the Delhi Police’s cyber cell said after nabbing five suspects on Thursday (5th November 2020).
Purely in terms of the number of identified victims, the police said that it was one of the biggest job frauds ever busted by the force. This fake portal legally operated a center that conducted online recruitment examinations for government and private agencies and had access to personal data of jobseekers to whom they sent targeted messages of job offers.
The police said that the gang allegedly sent out 15 lakh SMSs with links to two fraudulent websites in a month for registration for 13,000 vacancies which included posts such as accountants, data entry operators, nursing midwives, and ambulance drivers. Anyesh Roy, deputy commissioner of police (cyber cell), “The websites were designed so convincingly that some news and job information portals believed these openings to be genuine. They ended up amplifying the news of these fake jobs.” He also said that the two fake websites operated by the gang were www.sajks.org and www.sajks.com to draw their victims. These websites mentioned that they were under the Ministry of health and family welfare. However, neither of the two websites was functional on Thursday. An applicant decided to approach Delhi Police last month with a complaint that he received no response after paying Rs 500 as a registration fee. The fraudsters believed victims wouldn’t approach the police, since the registration fee ranged only between Rs 100 and 500, said Roy. Digital footprints of the suspects and their money trail were collected by the police. It was found in the investigation that a bank account was opened in Haryana’s Hisar district in the name of Swasthya Sanstan, a name consistent with the fake website. Roy said, “Soon, we got to know that money being deposited into this account by job applicants were being withdrawn from ATMs every day. On Tuesday, we laid a trap at one such ATM in Hisar and caught one suspect red-handed while he was withdrawing the money.” 27-year-old Amandeep Khetkari, the 27-year-old suspect’s role was just to withdraw money on a daily basis and distribute it to members of the gang, said the officer. Four other men were arrested at Khetkari’s instance. According to police, the arrested men included two website designers, Sandeep and Joginder Singh, the bank account holder Surender Singh and the mastermind Ramdhari, 50.