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Indian Hustle: How Fraudsters Prey On Would-be US Tech Workers 124

Posted by timothy
from the lowest-of-the-low dept.
New submitter angel115 points out this article on the widespread fraud committed in India against many thousands of those seeking visas to work in the U.S. Many Indian techies rely on the services of visa brokers (or people who claim to be), and end up burned by the transaction. From the article: "Some are lucky enough to get a visa — only to find that the promised job in the US doesn’t materialize. Then the visa holders are forced to return to India after spending thousands of dollars just surviving. ... No official figures are available for the number of frauds in India, but an unclassified document released by Wikileaks showed that in 2009, US consular officials cited H-1B scams as one of the two most common fraud categories in India." Another interesting detail: As part of a U.S. government investigation, "Officers investigated 150 companies in the city and discovered that 77 percent 'turned out to be fraudulent or highly suspect.' ... Officials uncovered a scheme where Hyderabadis were claiming to work for made-up companies in Pune so the Mumbai consulate would be less suspicious about their applications. 'The Hyderabadis claimed that they had opened shell companies in Bangalore because "everyone knows Hyderabad has fraud and Bangalore is reputable,” according to the internal communiqué [later published by Wikileaks]."
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Indian Hustle: How Fraudsters Prey On Would-be US Tech Workers

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  • China too (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:00AM (#46322269)

    I lived in China for a while and similar scams were common there. I remember having to explain to a friend there, a trained nurse, why paying around $1500 up front for a company that said they would get her a Canadian visa and a (huge by Chinese standards) salary around $1200 a month. It was not an immigration visa that would let her stay long term, but a domestic servant visa for a live-in job caring for an Alzheimer's patient.

    The Canadian embassy had warnings on their web site that 'visa consultants' were unnecessary since you could do everything yourself, and in particular that anyone claiming to have "connections" to make a visa more likely or quicker was lying.

  • Re:Why the exodus ? (Score:4, Informative)

    by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:49AM (#46322585)

    Can't They just live and work in India?

    The whole reason why India became such a hot supply of labor is that when a refrigerator is a luxury purchase and electricity is so hit-and-miss that companies build their own private power plants, the cost of living is a LOT lower. You could buy lunch for an entire week for USD $1. Try that at a New Jersey McDonalds. Even today, after 10+ years of Indian professionals pushing salaries up, they still don't get paid anywhere near what westerners do.

    So, given a choice between getting well-paid by Indian standards to work in India, or an opportunity to get what amounts to a fantastic salary in the US and other western countries as an H1-B or equivalent - even if they are underpaid by US standards, a lot of them come to the US with the idea of building up an enormous retirement fund, then taking it home to India where it will buy much more than it does in the USA.

    Often, however, they end up getting seduced by American-style living. I know quite a few with big fancy air-conditioned houses with modern appliances and an SUV or 2 in the drive. Their main concession is that they generally don't crank the A/C down to 65 like some of my native-born neighbors do.

All the evidence concerning the universe has not yet been collected, so there's still hope.