Fake Job Offers and Illegal Recruiters Thriving in the Philippines
Good employment opportunities are always appreciated. Not only unemployed people are seeking for a job, but also all of those who want a better one: one that pays more, one that has better benefits, one that lets people have a better life-work balance, etc. So whenever someone comes with a good offer, people tend to be grateful for the opportunity and sometimes forget about being cautious. Philippines investigators have seen an alarming increase in the cases involving fake employment scams and false companies, where victims lose all of their savings and more.
Illegal recruiters in the Philippines have been amassing big money by deceiving those who were eager to find a better job abroad. According to a recent publication, over 2,000 undocumented Filipinos traveled to the UAE in 2018 with the expectation to be hired in their destination. The illegal recruiters post job offers in fake websites and social media sites, and lure the victims by promising good employment positions as caregivers, tutors, nurses, IT professionals and others. The victims pay very high fees for the job placement service, however, the “lucky” will end up working as domestic workers and cleaners, and others will just end up stranded in a foreign country. Most of them have to look for the Philippines government assistance in order to be repatriated and return home, stripped out of their life-savings and even with great debts that they acquired to pay the illegal recruiters.
The cases of illegal recruiters and fake job offers come from many different sources. Some of these recruiters are national Filipinos, some are foreigners, some even work in government offices. The National Bureau of Investigation recently arrested two men allegedly responsible of large-scale illegal recruitment of workers for employment in the United States. In less than a month, the media informed about other two cases of arrests due to illegal recruitment activities: a provincial information officer in Davao del Sur, and a Jordanian national.
How to avoid being a victim of fake employment offers?
The authorities in the Philippines have insisted that people should not respond to the offers they find on social media sites. Be wary if the person offering the employment position never asks for a face-to-face interview, if they do not seem to have an office, and the most important red flag of all: if they request money as payment for processing and facilitating the accommodations in the destination, job placement services, or anything else. Illegal recruiters make their profit out of this advanced fee scam, so never provide payment to anyone who you have not met and cannot prove they have a job for you.
Finally, keep in mind that employment fraud is a big issue in the Philippines, not only for those seeking for a job, but also for legitimate employers and recruiters. Employment background checks in the Philippines are a must for every strategic hire, even for those companies who are hiring freelancers for a specific project. Don’t fall for a fake job opportunity with a false or real company!
Professional verification is the first step to assuring safety, whether for your company or yourself. Before responding to a job offer and before hiring someone, verify the facts!
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