A gang of unidentified persons has been allegedly sending ‘fake’ letters to youngsters in the city promising them government jobs but despite a complaint, the police are yet to take any substantial action.
Pratik Bhaskar Deshmukh of Ganesh Peth got a letter through courier a few days ago. From the envelope, it appeared that the letter came from ‘Sukanya Bal Vikas Yojana’ of Maharashtra and Goa state.
Pratik, who recently completed his B.Com and was looking for a stable job, was delighted when he opened the envelope. He found an ‘appointment letter’ dated May 7, 2014, despatched in his name by the ‘Women and Child Development Ministry of Maharashtra Government’, signed by ‘Rajesh Deshmukh, director’. It stated that Pratik has got a job of customer service executive in the ministry on a monthly salary of Rs 24,700. There were more documents and news reports attached with the letter.
Pratik called on a mobile number mentioned on these documents. “The person who took my call asked me to deposit Rs 12,500 as training fee in a bank account. The person gave me the bank account number. I started collecting the money, hoping it was a good opportunity.”
However, Pratik also approached the office of Women and Child Development department in Pune with his friend Nishikant Waikar. An officer at this office told them that the appointment letter was fake. Pratik filed a complaint with the Faraskhana police station on May 20.
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“I hope the police find these fraudsters and how they got my cellphone number and postal address correct. I was lucky as I got to know about this fraud in time. But there could be youngsters who may have got cheated and have deposited money,” said Pratik. The police, however, are yet to act on his complaint.
Suresh Tele, assistant commissioner, Women and Child Development, said, “We have received similar complaints in the past. Around two months ago, we lodged a complaint at the Koregaon Park police station. We have followed up the case with the police. But the fake letters are still coming. We also published a notice in newspapers appealing people to be aware of such fake job appointment letters in the name of ‘Sukanya Bal Vikas Yojana’.
Police inspector Rajendra Mulik of Koregaon Park police station confirmed they had received the complaint. Asked about details and whereabouts of the fraudsters and if any arrests were made in this case, Mulik said he was not sure.
Meanwhile, in a similar case, another youth Sagar Varpe of Rajguru Nagar in Pune district, got a fake letter dated April 22, 2014, saying that he has been selected for the job with the “inbound call centre” of the government’s ‘Bharat Navnirman Seva Yojana’, with annual salary of Rs 3.9 lakh. Even in this case, the fraudsters asked him to pay some money in a bank account.
Varpe, however, found it suspicious and avoided financial transaction.