Sucheta Dalal :Fraudulent emails peddling HCL jobs resurface
Sucheta Dalal

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Fraudulent emails peddling HCL jobs resurface  

April 9, 2010

 White-collar crime over the Internet is increasingly growing bigger in scale, almost on a daily basis. Given the huge margins involved in these frauds, the Internet is turning many tech-savvy youngsters into white-collar criminals. The latest fraud to make the rounds is an email that offers candidates an opportunity to work with technology company HCL Technologies Ltd with a salary ranging from Rs26,000 to Rs92,000 per month, excluding house rent allowance (HRA), dearness allowance (DA), conveyance and other benefits.


This is not the first time that HCL is facing such a fraud. About three years ago, the company found out that an email was being sent in its name offering jobs to recipients. This time also the company replied to Moneylife saying that "HCL Technologies strongly condemns this email and has nothing to do with it."


However, despite providing all the details of the sender of such fake emails, including the bank account number and name, there is no word about any action initiated by the company. Axis Bank spokesperson said,"The Bank is in the process of carrying out a full examination into the matter. A preliminary check reveals that there is an account in the name of the individual in question with our Mayur Vihar branch in New Delhi. The Bank has taken necessary precautionary measures and further action will depend upon the outcome of our investigation."


The latest mail has been sent using '[email protected]' as the sender with a subject line, 'Your Resume has been selected'. This mail is targeted at youngsters with less than a year’s experience or fresh graduates, since they are mostly not aware about the working of companies. In addition, many of them are not well-versed with the use of language in official communications and can easily fall prey to such fake mails.


The mail, a copy of which is with Moneylife, fails to impress on three accounts. One, the email IDs used to send these messages and those given for replying, are not from HCL. Instead, the fraudsters have used email IDs from free email service provider websites, like and Second, no company asks candidates to pay money upfront for any job and that too in an individual's name and account. Third, the language used in the mail is full of errors.


For e.g., the mail reads: "You are selected according to your resume in which Project you have worked on according to that you have been selected in Company. Your offer latter (sic) will dispatch very shortly after receiving your confirmation of cash deposited in AXIS BANK. We wish you the best of luck for the subsequent and remaining stage.” You would notice the pathetic grammar used throughout the message.


In case you have received such mails, delete them immediately. HCL has created a webpage ( that gives information about the job fraud mails.


According to media reports, in February this year, the Chennai police arrested two engineering graduates for creating a fake website of an information technology company and cheating aspiring job-seekers after sending them employment offers. The police also arrested a security guard of the Chennai-based company for providing the database of job applicants to the accused graduates.


These two engineers procured details of job applicants from the security guard and then created a fake website of the company. Using prepaid SIM cards, the duo asked a few candidates to appear for an interview. They even conducted interviews over the phone. After a few days, they sent emails to the 'interviewed' candidates saying that they have been selected and had to deposit Rs30,000 in the company's bank account.


What is interesting is that the duo used an account of a person from Assam, whose debit card they had stolen. They used ATMs, mostly those where there are no security cameras, to withdraw money. Not only this, even while calling the applicants, they used a special voice converting software that changes a male's voice to that of a woman.


Although the arrest of a couple of fraudsters is not going to change the scene, such activities involve huge returns. Why are email frauds on the rise? It is simple arithmetic. The cost of sending a spam mail to around 50 million email IDs is often less than $500. So, even if a single user bites the bait and loses $501, the phisher breaks even.


Carl Leonard, senior manager, Websense Security Labs, had said, “A new wave of scams has emerged using a combination of legitimately bought advertising space, false news stories and the lure of job opportunities with well-known companies. This aggressive campaign, which preys on a population weakened by the economic downturn, demonstrates how cybercrime has moved on from the spotty teenage hacker in his bedroom to a sophisticated business run with all the trimmings.”


(Read 'How can you protect yourself from e-mail frauds' here
Yogesh Sapkale

-- Sucheta Dalal