Tech Mahindra has stepped up its fight against impostors who lure gullible job seekers into paying a bomb by claiming to be hiring on the company’s behalf.

The software services firm has approached the Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) to ban domain names that are look-alikes of the company’s official websites — techmahindra.com and mahindrasatyam.com.

Sunil Sanger, Tech Mahindra’s Chief Risk Officer, said the company has received “positive feedback” from the DeitY, which has agreed to block such domains.

“Our special task force team from the technical and information security group found that a large number of the fake offer letters were originating from common domains. These domains were ending with “.in” and included various combinations of the company name,” Sanger said in a written response to a query by Business Line.

The company is campaigning against domains such as techmahindra.in, techmahindra.biz, techmahindra.info, and techmahindra.nl, said sources.

In October, the fake job racket made headlines when the Mahindra group company realised that nearly 50 people had been cheated by a gang promising jobs. These candidates had paid upwards of Rs 9,000 to the fraudsters. The gang is reportedly still on the run.

Such rackets are a major challenge to India’s $108-billion software services industry as other marquee names such as Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp and HCL Technologies, too, have been targeted by fraudsters in the past.

Unsuspecting candidates end up responding to e-mails from fake or free domains (such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!) and paying anywhere between Rs 8,000 and Rs 1 lakh as a ‘deposit’.

Most impostors ask for the money to be deposited into their bank accounts under various pretexts such as security (both refundable and non-refundable), job processing fee, referral fee or training fee, said Sanger.

This has prompted top IT companies to clearly articulate on their websites that they do not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process. In addition, Tech Mahindra has been highlighting this issue in some of its recent hiring advertisements, said Sanger.

Of late, most companies have started earmarking their offer letters with digital signatures such as Quick Response Codes and Holograms, to distinguish them from fake ones.

Industry body Nasscom has forecast that the Indian IT industry would create 1,80,000 new jobs in the current financial year.

adith.charlie@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 26, 2013)
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