The fake job scam has acquired a new dimension. Scamsters try to con you into shelling out at least Rs525 to accept a VPP parcel that ostensibly contains a call letter for a job. In a faltering economy with massive layoffs, this seems like the latest trick to cheat people. We investigate one such scam
SSS Industrial Job Services, the Andhra Pradesh based placement and recruitment agency is luring job seekers with its fake call letter scam using the Indian Post. This is similar to the value payable postal (VPP) service or cash on delivery (CoD) fraud used by scamsters during the 1990s to dupe thousands of people under the pretext of receiving radio-transistor or mixer-grinder. The parcels usually contained stones or bricks and sometimes just waste papers!
SSS Industrial Job Services is sending the VPPs to job seekers. It may be using the database from any job site for sending call letters. One such VPP landed at my door, where the postman asked my mother to pay Rs525 (Rs500 for the parcel and Rs25 for postal fee). Since I was not at home, my mother refused to accept the parcel and pay any money. Then the postman left a delivery note with my mother asking me to collect the VPP from the post office by paying Rs525.
Since I had no knowledge of SSS Industrial Job Services or any such placement agency, I checked the background of the agency on Internet. There are several complaints about the agency and its VPP parcels that contain fake call letters printed in Telugu. On ConsumerCourt.in, several people have complained about receiving VPP from SSS Industrial Job Services that contain fake call letter.
Mamtha, one such victim, says. “I got fake call letter on 30/4/2012 through post and they charged me 500 rupees. On inquiry I came to know that it is a fake call letter, even I searched in consumer forum they are many victims who got same fake letters.”
Another victim says, “I am M.Kumari Muthu Kiruba. On a Saturday, last year, (date 16-6-2012), my family and I went to my native place. So my neighbour received the call letter on my name from your company. But to receive the call letter they charge Rs525.”
Another complainant who received such VPP says, “Sir, I am Suhas Gaikwad I also received same call letter from SSS Industries with same address and was charged Rs525. But I can’t accept this letter till it is in at the post Office. I first want to inquire about the company. Then, I saw the post about the fake CALL LETTERS from SSS Industries. So please guide me whether or not I should receive that letter.”
However, one Uday Kumar from Bangalore posted a different view about the SSS Industries parcel in ComplaintBoard.in. He says, “Guys it is not fake call letter, I got their number and spoke to them. SSS is the consultancy, which is providing job services in Andhra Pradesh. Rs525 is the postal charges and we have to go for interview to their office. If we are OK with the job which they offer, we have to pay Rs3,000. Otherwise, there will be no extra charges. Please stop these negative comments.”
Even accepting it as a genuine call letter, as per Uday Kumar, why should an agency from Andhra Pradesh send call letters to somebody in Mumbai - that too in Telugu, without the person even applying for the job, in the first place?
In short, this is nothing but a fraud and in case you receive such VPP from SSS Industrial Job Services, do not accept the parcel by paying any money. In case you are already duped, then please reach your post office immediately and file a complaint against the agency.
This is what the Indian Post says about fraud through VPPs
“If a complaint is made by the addressee immediately after the receipt of a value payable postal (VPP) article, that it was sent dishonestly or fraudulently, the Head of the Circle may, if he is satisfied that there are prima facie grounds for believing that the value payable postal article was sent with the intention of defrauding the addressee, withhold the payment to the sender of the money recovered from the addressee. If after making such enquiries as may be necessary, he is fully satisfied that the value payable postal article was sent with this intention, he may order the return of the article to the sender and refund to the addressee the sum of money recovered from him on delivery of the value-payable postal article.”