Khammam: Several youths in the state have received ‘call letters’ asking job-seekers to go for ‘certificate verification’ and make a payment for their intake into the forest department.
N Ravi Kumar, resident of Kattakommuthanda in Rajeswarapuram panchayat under Nelakondapalli mandal received a call letter from an “FRO” (forest range officer). He was more surprised and also got a phone call. The caller, who claimed to be an FRO, asked him to go for the certificate verification after putting Rs 10,000 into (the caller’s) account.
The caller told him that the forest office was located in Srinivasanagar in Khammam. The call letter had the round ‘seal’ of the forest department and ‘signature’ of the FRO. Many others too received such letters in recent days and, not being convinced, started enquiring about it.
N Sudhir, who was among them, said he showed it to his female relative working in the forest department and she confirmed that it was a fake one.
Interestingly, some of these youths received letters later, saying the forest department was postponing the scrutiny of the certificates. Some of them checked “FRO-Khammam” via the true-caller app.
The forest department had not taken the matter initially, it seems, but it alerted the staff after coming to know that several people received such letters or calls.
An investigation is on to find out how the gang made the seals etc in the name of the forest department. What is also probed is whether there was any help to this from some forest employees.
District forest officer SV Singh directed the officials to constitute a taskforce to inquire into the matter. It would find out from where the fake letters were dispatched, how many such letters were sent and who all were behind it. “Unemployed youths should not fall into the trap of such fraudsters,” he said....