Tue, 19 Aug 2003

Dozens of IPB's graduates fall for fake job, study offers

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Dozens of graduates from the acclaimed Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) received invitations to study or work abroad, only to find out after they had paid for the programs, that the offers were fake.

Agus Lelana, the spokesman for the Alumni of IPB's Promotion and Relations, said over the weekend that the graduates were offered study and/or work in Southeast Asian countries and each required to transfer between Rp 1.5 million (US$174.4) and Rp 1.9 million to a bank account.

The perpetrator's method was to send job training invitations to IPB graduates.

A copy of the invitation, made available by Antara, was titled Work Force Study. The country's symbol of Garuda Pancasila headed the invitation and the registration number 03/Depnakertrans- IPB/2003 (from the ministry of manpower and transmigration), dated July 21, 2003.

The invitation was addressed to Irfan Syansul, a graduate of IPB's School of Agricultural Tools and Machinery Management. The letter said that he could contact the Third Deputy Rector of IPB, Yusuf Sudo Hadi, at 0817-9403938 or telex at 31190, if he was interested.

Agus said that the deputy rector was not involved in, and infact, unaware of the case.

He urged graduates to confirm the validity of job offers requiring advanced payment with IPB's public relations division.

IPB Rector, Ahmad Ansori Mattjik, said that a similar case had happened last year.

"When I contacted the number, the perpetrator realized it was me on the phone... he was impersonating me. It was very awkward."

Mattjik suspects that the perpetrator obtained the graduate's identities and addresses from the graduation list. Therefore, starting this year, the list will not include addresses.

Waluyo, IPB's public relations officer, said that a number of similar fraud cases had been reported to the police.

"We are most sorry for the graduates that lost their money by sending it to the perpetrator," he said.