Fight against fake-jobs industry scams

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More than 60% of the eight lakh engineers graduating from technical institutions across the country every year remain unemployed, according to the All India Council for Technical Education.This is a potential loss of 20 lakh man days annually. 

Today’s job seekers, meanwhile, are uniquely vulnerable to getting duped. Newspapers once limited the number of public job listings and charged a fee for each one, making it relatively difficult and expensive to run a scam. Now, most people immediately turn to the internet to search for openings. Yet scammers have realized that the accessibility and anonymity of the web offers the perfect vehicle for deception.

As a result, job scams are proliferating. An analysis by Hindustan Times of media coverage between September 2016 and September 2017 revealed 140 job scams reported from 35 cities across India, from Delhi to Bhubaneswar to Cochin. Only half these news reports included the number of victims; together, they add up to 30,000 people scammed.

In the news reports collected by Hindustan Times, scamming victims paid as little as Rs 200 and as much as Rs 30 lakh to get jobs that were not truly offered to them. In 29 of the news reports, victims lost more than Rs 1 lakh. The offers were made on behalf of a wide range of employers.

Consumer complaint websites are full of stories about unemployed people being exploited by dodgy job websites. Placement agencies guarantee jobs that don’t exist. Visa firms do the same, except their clients have to land in a foreign country to figure it out. Sometimes under business pressure, staff members of even genuine job portals, such as Naukri and Shine (owned by HT Media Ltd, which publishes Hindustan Times), have been accused of promising jobs in exchange for the purchase of their services.

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