Pune: Taking a leaf out of Bollywood movie 'Special 26', where actor Akshay Kumar and his gang fool 26 people with fake appointment letters to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), unknown miscreants are issuing fake appointment letters to candidates who had applied for various posts in the Intelligence Bureau (IB). Sources in IB confirmed a leak of information from the Home Ministry's website, which led to candidates who had applied for posts getting these letters. The letter asks them to pay Rs 15,500 for confirmation of their appointment.
Ramesh Pawar (name changed) from Jalgaon received this letter on October 4, 2017. He said, "In 2014, an advertisement related to vacancies in IB was published in Employment News. I applied for the post of driver online through the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) but didn't receive any communication for three years." He has now got a suspicious letter asking him to pay money and report to Mumbai headquarters. "Everyone said now that you've been selected, your life is set, but I was later informed by a well-wisher that the letter is fake," added Pawar.
Asking for payment
On the nights of Thursday and Saturday, Pawar received a call from a person identifying himself as an IB personnel. Pawar said, "On Thursday, the caller told me that I have to pay Rs 15,500 as deposit fees. I told him that an account number is not mentioned in the letter. He asked me come to the Mumbai address mentioned in the letter. On Saturday night, he called again and he told me to come to Mumbai, I asked him to send me the account number but he hasn't sent anything."
Another person, Tanaji Patil (name changed), also applied in the same manner as Pawar. He also received the letter. He called the number mentioned on the letter and found it suspicious.
Data leak suspected
An IB official, on condition of anonymity, said, "Many fake appointments letters have been issued to candidates who applied online or have appeared for the exams. We are working to nab these fraudsters."
An official of the Ministry of Home Affairs, on condition of anonymity, said, "If anybody is receiving such fake letters they should report it to the local police.
KS Datwalia, Additional Director General (Media and communication), Ministry of Home Affairs, said, "We cannot say whether the date has leaked or not. I would not like to comment further on it."
The mystery letter:
- Bhartiya Khufiya Vibhag, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, Mumbai, is written on the Covering letter of the six page appointment letter. 'Kendra Sarkar evam Maharashtra Sarkar ka Sajha Mission' is imprinted on the bottom of the letter.
- A phone number 09313159468 is mentioned in the letter and candidates are asked to call on the number in order to pay the security deposit.
- A Mumbai address and an email address of email@example.com is mentioned in one of the pages.
- The letter has the name and signature of Shrikrishna Puniya (IPS), TXP2002 (Rect,Cell), Mumbai(MH).
- The letters says that the trainees will be provided training in software and weapons. They will be trained to track people and to keep their identity secret.
- Job assignments (Junior intelligence officer, driver and security) and their salary structure is also mentioned.