Ontario fleet says it’s a victim of India job scam

by Abdul Latheef

TORONTO, Ont. – An Ontario fleet has issued an alert, saying a company in India’s Punjab state is using its name as a cover to defraud job seekers.

Gigg Express alleged in a notice posted on Twitter that Rudraksh Group, a recruiting firm based in the city of Mohali, was misrepresenting the company, posing as a third-party acting on its behalf, and issuing phony job offers.

“They are creating fake job offer letters, employment contracts and promising assistance in immigrating to Canada,” the notice said.

“Fraudsters are asking for money to aid in their fake process. Once received, they stop communication and virtually disappear.”

The Non-Resident Indian (NRI) wing of Punjab Police told Today’s Trucking it was looking into the matter.

It is not the first time Rudraksh has come under scrutiny. Numerous individuals have filed complaints about it this year alone. There are even YouTube videos urging people seeking jobs abroad to avoid the company.

Today’s Trucking also reached out to Rudraksh, but there was no response. Company executives hung up on our calls.

Gigg, a mid-size fleet based in Mississauga, Ont., refused further comment.

“We are not interested in commenting on, or providing additional information regarding this matter,” a company executive said in an email.

Immigration lawyer Christopher Collette says there has been an increase in fraudulent job offers because of rising interest in Canadian immigration. (Photo: iStock)

Scams are widespread

In India, unsuspecting applicants have been known to pay anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000 to so-called immigration consultants before realizing that they will not be able to get a job or their money back.

“Fraudulent job offers are not a new development. They have existed for many, many years. Anecdotally, though, it does seem like they have increased in number recently,” said Christopher Collette, an immigration attorney with the law firm of Campbell Cohen.

He cited two trends:

  • In some cases, prospective immigrants acting alone or with others will pay a large sum of money for a shell employment to be created in Canada that they can use for immigration purposes. These jobs exist on paper only, Collette said.
  • The other is outright fraud. Purely fraudulent offers being marketed to foreigners, where in actuality there is no position on paper or in reality available in Canada.

Collette said part of the reason for the spike could be the rising demand for Canadian immigration.

Also, it is not that difficult to fake someone’s name, create a false persona/social media profile/website, and market fraudulent services, he said.

“On the other hand, it can be difficult to ‘take down’ instances of fraud as significant time and effort may be required,” Collette said.

“Common sense plays a role – jobs that appear too good to be true often are.”

– Immigration lawyer Christopher Collette

He said potential victims should take steps to verify employment opportunities wherever possible.

“Use well-known, reputable and well-reviewed lawyers/consultants, and contact employers/individuals listed on job offers directly to verify whether they issued the job offer.”

He said fake job offers often have signs that they are fraudulent. Poor language, spelling mistakes, and fake contact information are all hallmarks of phony job offers.

“Common sense plays a role – jobs that appear too good to be true often are.”

Unsolicited offers

Today’s Trucking has seen a “job offer” that a resident of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, received from a consultant. Ironically, the auto parts salesman never applied for a job in Canada.

The consultant told him he had received “positive responses” from a number of companies in Canada.

He gave him 10 options that included “job offers” from companies such as Nestle, Bacardi Canada, Federal Express, Ottawa and Vancouver airport operators and Walmart Canada.

Most jobs offered free accommodation, with salaries ranging from $3,000 to $8,900 a month for a two-year contract.

Fortunately for the salesman, he didn’t fall for the scam.

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