Government job is considered a prized possession. With growing population, these recruitments see very stiff competition in India. The number of persons competing for these limited posts hugely exceeds the final vacancies.
As a result, fraudster now-a-days even go to extent of even creating fake websites in name of government recruitment. They aim to de-fraud people in name of fake application fees, processing charges, postal cost etc.
These websites are quickly spotted by Law Enforcement Authorities as fraudulent, but at times these websites become successful in defrauding people of millions of rupees before getting neutralized. The following write-up discusses, one such attempt to de-fraud people in Punjab in name of Punjab police constable recruitment.
Fraudsters created fake website - punjabpolicerecruitments.com - in name of recruitment of constables (District Police Cadre and Armed Police Cadre). To lure attract people to the fraudulent website, fake advertisement were floated by scammers.
Fake Advertisement - Advertisement/Constables-2020/Male & Female/PP:
However, as per State government instructions (no.7/204/2012-4FP1/66 dated 15.01.2015), during the probation period, they will only be eligible for fixed emoluments, i.e. equivalent to the minimum of the Pay band. During the probation period, they would not be entitled to any grade pay, annual increments or any other allowances, except TA. As per Cabinet decision (30.4.2020), the probation period of all fresh appointees would be 3 years.
ONLINE COMMON APPLICATION FORM (CAF):
The candidates are advised to submit ONLY SINGLE ONLINE APPLICATION for the post of Constable as the recruitment process would start at all Recruitment Centres at the same time on the same date. However, if somehow, the candidate manages to submit multiple online applications, only his first application shall be entertained and fee paid against one Application shall not be adjusted against any other Application.
TENTATIVE VACANCIES IN THE DISTRICT POLICE CADRE & ARMED POLICE CADRE:
DISTRICT POLICE CADRE & ARMED POLICE CADRE:
While submitting the Common Application Form (CAF) on web-portal www.punjabpolicerecruitments.com, the candidates will be asked to specify whether they want
Therefore, the candidates are requested to examine the Vacancy Table given above carefully before exercising their choice or giving their options.
RESERVATION OF SEATS:
As per State government instructions, recruitment against 3% vacancies reserved for sports persons shall be carried out separately for which a separate advertisement shall be given by the Sports department of Punjab. The vacancies equivalent to 3% have been deducted from the total number of vacancies and recruitment would be done against the remaining vacancies. However, the sportspersons are eligible to apply here also but no extra benefit/reservation shall be admissible to them on the basis of their achievements in Sports.
(Material from earlier advertisements of Punjab Police had been used to mislead the public).
How to Spot Fake Government Job Websites:
Non .gov.in Extension:
Domain names are composed of several different parts and are read from right to left. At the far right of the domain name, you’ll find what’s called a TLD (top level domain), or the domain name extension. Generic top-level domains are the .com, .org, .net, or other extensions you find after the final period in the domain name.
For Indian government website the Top Level Domains are usually - .gov.in. However, in this case the top level domain name was .com which stands for commercial. It is extremely implausible for government to use .com extension instead of .gov.in.
Therefore, if any government recruitment website has any extension other .gov.in beware. Go into the minute details carefully, before making any payment.
By navigating to the link https://viewdns.info/whois/?domain=xxx where xxx represent the domain name under question, you can find the registrant’s detail.
For xxx = punjabpolicerecruitments.com
WHOIS Information for punjabpolicerecruitments.com
IMPORTANT: Port43 will provide the ICANN-required minimum data set per
The data contained in GoDaddy.com, LLC's WhoIs database,
Any use of this data for any other purpose is expressly forbidden without the prior written
Please note: the registrant of the domain name is specified
The registrant details are further hidden. Criminals do it deliberately by using privacy services or by using domain service provider that mask the “Registrant details” by default like internet.bs or Njal.la. Though this is not always the case, but this step should always be executed.
Since here the registrant details are hidden, therefore it raises suspicion further. Similarly, the process can be used for other websites too.
Creation and Updation Date:
Clearly, the website – “punjabpolicerecruitment.com” has been created and updated on 23/4/2020 i.e. very recently. However, any government recruitment website is expected to be much older. Therefore, clearly the website is fishy.
Similarly, by using this step you can infer the genuineness of any recruitment website in question.
You can further check the Alexa rank of the website, by navigating to the link https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/xxx
For xxx = punjabpolicerecruitment.com
Clearly, No Results indicates that either the website is too new or gets very limited traffic, which should ideally not be case for government websites.
Fake websites change crucial identifiable details like phone number, mail ID regularly. Therefore, it’s advisable to look into previous version of the website through https://archive.org/web.
In case, the previous version of the website has already been archived, tap on the particular date to see the version of the website on that particular date.
Wappalyzer is a utility that uncovers the technologies used on websites. It detects content management systems, ecommerce platforms, web frameworks, server software, analytics tools and many more.URL: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/wappalyzer/gppongmhjkpfnbhagpmjfkannfbllamg?hl=en
These fake websites are often created poorly and therefore exhibit several vulnerabilities including excessive disclosure of technologies used on the website. So, if the website in question discloses too much crucial information like web server, programming language, their version etc it means the website owners don’t care much about long term security of the website. It portrays the website in negative light.
Other Signs of Fake/ Fraudulent Websites:
Section 463 of Indian Penal Code defines forgery as - Whoever makes any false documents or false electronic record or part of a document or electronic record, with intent to cause damage or injury, to the public or to any person, or to support any claim or title, or to cause any person to part with property, or to enter into any express or implied contract, or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed, commits forgery.
Since the fake advertisement has been created to cause financial damage to gullible citizens, it falls under ambit of forgery.
Section 465 in The Indian Penal Code
Punishment for forgery: Whoever commits forgery shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
Since, forgery has been committed to cheat ordinary citizens Section 468 of IPC will also be applicable to the case.
Section 468 in The Indian Penal Code
Forgery for purpose of cheating: Whoever commits forgery, intending that the [document or electronic record forged shall be used for the purpose of cheating, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 471 in The Indian Penal Code
Using as genuine a forged [document or electronic record]: Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine any [document or electronic record] which he knows or has reason to believe to be a forged [document or electronic record], shall be punished in the same manner as if he had forged such [document or electronic record].
Section 420 in The Indian Penal Code
Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property: Whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Since, fraudster attempted to cheat citizens by personating as recruiters of constables, and used website to for the same, therefore Section 66 D of IT Act will also be applicable.
Section 66D in The Information Technology Act, 2000
Punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource: Whoever, by means for any communication device or computer resource cheats by personating, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.
Will get Money Refund in these Frauds?
RBI guideline says - In cases where the loss is due to negligence by a customer, such as where he has shared the payment credentials, the customer will bear the entire loss until he reports the unauthorized transaction to the bank. Any loss occurring after the reporting of the unauthorized transaction shall be borne by the bank.
Therefore, if you have transferred the money into the scammer’s account willingly, as per the notification you will have to bear the entire loss. However, any loss occurring after the reporting of the unauthorized transaction shall be borne by the bank concerned.
Fraudsters impersonate government website to have legitimacy in the eyes of public and then fool gullible citizens into paying money into their hands. Therefore, before doing financial transaction as processing fee, application fee etc, do check the authenticity of the website using the methods detailed above.
For the above fraudulent website, an FIR has already been registered at the State Cyber Crime Cell, Mohali on charges of forgery, forgery for cheating, using a forged document as a genuine one, identity theft and cheating by personation by using computer resources.