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Last year Immigration Matters warned of fake job offers and scams being emailed to thousands of desperate job hunters hoping to work abroad.

Despite warnings from this publication and various government offices such as the Department of Labor and Employment in the Philippines, the ruthless scammers are still at it and people are still being duped.

The basic scam works like this:

Step 1. Applicants are initially sucked in by attractive low skilled job offers in the UK using (without their knowledge) the names of well known companies such as large hotel chains.

Step 2. Once you are on the hook, the fraudsters will ask you send a small amount of money as payment for work permit applications or VAF visa applications at the British embassy in Manila. They even promise to refund this to you once you are in the UK.

Step 3. If you fall for step 2 then you are now in the ‘net’ and wide open to further requests such as processing, flights and handling charges. The mode of most of the frauds is to build your confidence by only asking for a small amount of money and move in for the big kill later on down the line.

Last year the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in London has recorded more than 200 emails from job applicants and recruitment agencies in the country requesting for verification of the legality of the job offers they received through the Internet.
Applicants receive the bogus job offers via email with scanned appointment letters, work confirmation, and employment contracts from well known UK employers. 

They are later sent instructions to contact specified travel agencies, immigration firms, and Solicitors, supposedly in the UK, who would purportedly assist them in the processing of their work permits and visas.
The job offers were found to be fake, deceptive, and illegal as all visa applications will now be filed at the UK Visa Application Centre of the British Embassy in Manila, adding the application should be done personally by the applicants.
Baited Emails
Immigration Matters receives hundreds of emails from Filipino, Indian and other nationals requesting advice on these so called job offers. 

The bogus job offers look real and would be difficult to distinguish from a genuine vacancy by anyone living outside the UK.

However, on closer inspection it is quite easy to see that the emails are in fact nothing more than a variation on a well known scam, many of which originate in West Africa. 

The ‘fake job offer’ scam is a simple but crude attempt to extort money from vulnerable and often desperate job seekers who will clutch at even the slightest hope of finding work abroad.  

The emails are usually run by gangs working outside the UK where they are difficult to trace and the millions of spam emails are allowed to continue virtually unchecked. 

The emails or ‘bait’ contain a hook to catch the unsuspecting victim – it could be a dream job offer abroad, but could equally be a ‘lottery win’ notification or a bank official claiming to control the fortune of a deceased General or plantation millionaire. 

Once the victim takes the bait they will be led through a series of steps eventually leading to sending a small amount of money or even a series of payments until they eventually realise they have been conned. 

Telephone numbers are not UK landlines 

The so called ’employers’ can be genuine companies, like large care or catering groups, who are unwittingly being used in the illegal racket. In other cases they are fictitious businesses with similar names to real firms. 

The first thing I notice is that although the telephone numbers may look like UK numbers, they are not UK landlines, but can be answered from anywhere in the world. Most medium to large businesses in Britain work from proper landlines, not from a mobile answered by some guy in the street. Smaller companies or consultants may work from a mobile, but this will usually be registered in the UK. 

Medium to large companies also have a proper email domain and do not use Yahoo or Hotmail accounts to communicate with the public.

The type of job offered tends to be for low or semi skilled occupations such as Drivers, Waiters, Kitchen Hands and Chamber Maids. 

Low skilled jobs are not open to non EU migrants under the Points Based System (PBS – see UK Border Agency website), which replaced the Work Permit scheme in November 2008. 

Employers wishing to recruit non EU migrant workers must first be licensed as a Tier 2 ‘Sponsoring employer’ by the UK Border Agency. Employers will usually only be able to hire non-EU workers for jobs which appear on the official Shortage Occupations list.

Furthermore, under PBS work permits have been replaced by a new system. Employers now issue an electronic ‘certificate of sponsorship’ to the qualified worker who then applies online for entry clearance at the British Embassy. 

There are no Work Permit fees and no paper based Work Permit documents.

Applicants must score sufficient points to qualify for entry – see Working in the UK.  

6 ways to spot a fake job offer 

Here are six useful tips from Cynthia Barker, Manager of London based immigration firm Bison UK. Cynthia, who has helped thousands of workers and students come to the UK, said there are a number of questions you should first ask yourself when looking at employment offers. 

  1. Is the recruitment method unusual or suspicious?
    Companies do not hire workers by sending unsolicited emails and in countries like the Philippines recruitment of workers is regulated by government agencies such as the POEA. Genuine employers will usually interview candidates or use a reputable agency. 
  2. Has the job been advertised through legitimate media in the UK?
    Jobs advertised to foreign or non EU workers are normally be advertised on the official Job Centre Plus website and in some cases in the press. If not, the employer will be unable to obtain permission to employ the worker under Tier 2 of the Points Based System. See http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/. Remember, anyone can set up a website, so you need to look further than an internet based advertisement. 
  3. Is the Job of the official Shortage Occupation list?
    If the job is not a shortage occupation the chances of obtaining a certificate of sponsorship is greatly reduced. 
  4. Does the post qualify under Tier 2?
    The job role must be at or above NVQ Level 3, otherwise the employer will not be allowed to employ you and you will not get a visa to enter the UK. See Working in the UK. For instance, a Waiter or Cleaner will be considered at below NVQ Level 3 and will not qualify under Tier 2. 
  5. Does the employment letter contain a UK landline and address?
    Most of the letters we see do not have landline telephone numbers (e.g. with the prefix 0208 or 01707) and many have PO Box addresses or addresses which simply do not exist. A few minutes on the internet on sites like Royal Mail Postcode Finder or Google Maps should reveal all you need to know. 
  6. Have you been asked to send money?
    UK employers and UK agencies are not allowed to charge placement fees, even though this practice may be acceptable in many countries which supply staff to the UK. If you are asked to send money for any reason this is the first sign that you are being sucked into a scam or confidence trick. 

What else can you do to avoid being conned? 

  • Research the company – use websites such as Companies House and Yell.com.
  • Look at the company website – check if job vacancies are advertised
  • Call or email the head office or HR department direct and inform them of the offer.
  • Check the email address – most fraudsters use free Yahoo or Hotmail account rather than an in-house ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’ domain.
  • Ask a friend or relative (if you have one in the UK) to call or visit the employer.
  • Contact your Embassy in London or your local labour department.
  • Set up a spam filter – a good spam filter will usually spot the emails as spam and save you time and money. 

Finally, use your judgement and common sense – if something seems too good to be true it probably is. 

Have you received a fake job offer? The BBC are making a special documentary about these scams and would like to hear your story.

You can comment on this story below. 

See also:

What will next Philippine President do about overseas labour and OFW regulation?

Foreigners living in the Philippines must apply for an ID Card

Employers issuing Tier 2 certificate work permits in error risk losing UKBA sponsorship and wrecking migrant worker’s lives

Tier 4 students switch to Tier 2 working visa before new rules hit

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: 

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk  or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

Useful websites:

UK Border Agency – Sponsoring Migrant Workers


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54 Responses to “Beware of fake job offers and internet scams”
Read them below or add one

  1. idahooida@yahoo.com'

    i got the offer job from UK with the email off UK.home office@ukba- border.com is it true or not true .??

  2. vinny_shan@rediffail.com'
    vinny_shan@rediffail.com'vinay tyagi says :

    I Mr. Jonathan Frank, the human resource division manager of Sprint Oil Corporation Ltd, hereby, on
    behalf of the above named company; I enter into agreement with all of our workers.
    Below information is the
    agreement we have with you. We are hereby urging our workers to abide by the rules and ethics guiding this
    You are being informed to go on with us after reading and accept our terms and conditions. But those,
    whom the terms are not accepted, should quit with all pleasure. We are here to render a helping hand to Job seekers
    with good academic qualifications and to earn a better salary for good living and in return a better output from you.
    1. The workers should have a good and sound academic qualification certificate.
    2. The worker should have a good work experience (at least six months), skills and should be competent in his/her
    field of work.
    3. The applicant should be fluent in English speaking to the comprehension of everyone for appropriate
    4. His/her should have moral act, polite characters, and respects, obedient, love to his/her follow senior workers and
    other company clients.
    5. The candidate should be free all the time and focus towards his duty and should not be distracted by anything else.
    6. The company is eligible and capable to pay workers the monthly salary amount to the sum of GBP 5,280 Great
    British pounds for a start and could be extended depending on the workers ability and skills that is the Remuneration
    the company affords workers as wages. (Highly experienced expert rates’ salary will be discussed pre-resumption of
    duty, not here)
    7. The company’s monthly salary promotions depend on the workers general work input and output and its influence
    to the growth of the company.
    8. The company is responsible in rendering help of any kind, making sure that the candidate is availed of every aid in
    his/her struggle on moving to his/her job location. We are giving every assurance that our Indian coordinator in the
    British Consulate will process the entire document on our behalf, but the applicant will be responsible for the
    processing fees and not the company. This could show how serious and capable the applicant is.
    9. The company is responsible to offer the following Certificates such as, work permit, resident permit, and Order
    relevant documents that may deem necessary to the applicant. Invitation Letter, Accommodation and Flight Ticket
    is free of charge this will be done through company Schedules.
    10. The candidate should bear all the cost of expenses that may arise during the time of obtaining his/her Visa/work
    permit document from British Council in his/her Country. The Company is not responsible for the expenses.
    Address: 20 Lavington Street London, United Kingdom
    Email: job.sprintoilcorporation@secretarias.com
    Tel: +44-8719749643/+44-8719749537
    11. During you stay with us all assignments entrusted to you shall be carried out from time to time effectively and
    sincerely with the best of your ability and capability.
    12. During that same period you shall be liable to be transferred from one establishment, department, division or any
    sister concern of the company at the discretion of the Management.
    13. You are to keep and render a faithful account of all the properties and business secrets of the company entrusted
    to you in the course of your training , and shall not disclose the secret of the company to anybody at any time during
    your stay with us even after your may have left the services of the company.
    14. During the course of your work with us , you shall not in any way accept any other employment , whether
    part-time or full time , either for remuneration or otherwise .On no account shall that occur otherwise attracts a risk
    of sack with a refund of last six months salary as the penalty.
    The applicant has right to resign anytime provided a one month prior notice is given to the Management of the
    company, while the company is entitle to terminate any unsatisfactory production from the staff but will not fail to
    notify the applicant one month beforehand
    – Free medical/dental care in United Kingdom for employee and family.
    – Excellent educational assistance benefits with family status employment.
    – Paid airfares allowing full flexibility with holiday travel.
    – Personal effects shipment and excess baggage allowances.
    – Full access to some of the finest and social recreational facilities in United Kingdom.
    -Life Insurance and Paid vacation.
    – Official vehicle/Maximum security in work environment and housing community.
    Kindly go through the contents and return the scanned copy of this letter after dully signed by you as taken in your
    acceptance of the terms and conditions stated herein.
    We warmly welcome you with open arms and wish you all the very best in your new assignment
    Yours Sincerely
    For Sprint Oil Corporation Ltd Applicant Name………………….……
    Mr. Jonathan Frank
    Human Resource Division Manager Sign……………………………………
    Address:20 Lavington Street London, United Kingdom
    Email: job.sprintoilcorporation@secretarias.com
    Tel: +44-8719749643/+44-8719749537

    any body help me about this offer truethness

  3. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    Suggest you use your common sense, do your own checks and also read the RULES on the UKBA website.

  4. prawin_khalkho@rocketmail.com'
    prawin_khalkho@rocketmail.com'prawin says :

    ATTN: Applicant,

    We have noted the content of your Application, Your employer Mr Khaled Rajan contacted our office, concerning your intended job Appointment with them here in London UK.

    In order to legally work in the United Kingdom without applying under the government’s tier based points system, International Expatriate you need to apply for work identity card for foreign nationals/Certificate of Eligibility and IMMIGRANT EXPATRIATE CERTIFICATE from the UK Border Agency, which will allow them to legally work as Expatriate for a sponsoring host family in the UK.

    Find below the necessary steps you will take to enable you obtain your work identity card for foreign nationals/Certificate of Eligibility and IMMIGRANT EXPATRIATE CERTIFICATE The UK Border Agency is responsible for securing the United Kingdom borders and controlling immigration in the United Kingdom. We manage border control for the United Kingdom, enforcing immigration and customs regulations. We also consider applications for permission to enter or stay in the United Kingdom, citizenship and asylum.

    NOTE: You have to meet up with our requirements to enable us process your foreign national identity/certificate of eligibility and IMMIGRANT EXPATRIATE CERTIFICATE so that you will be able to get all your documents before you arrive UK.


    The UK Home Office wishes to authoritatively inform applicants seeking for immigration status into the United Kingdom not to make any payments for processing of Work Permit, Visa and/or Expatriate Quota Approval. Approval for entry (Visa) into the United Kingdom is executed by the Nearest British Embassy or Consulate within the applicants country of residence or location after regulation and certification of the applicant by the UK Home Office as at the time of application.

    The UK Home Office will exercise its full powers to perform its responsibility to regulate entry into the UK, by:

    •Ensuring that the sponsor is financially capable to support the applicant entering the United Kingdom for Business or Pleasure throughout the duration of the validity of the Entry Visa.

    • Ensuring that the applicant, has the minimum stipulated financial requirement to earn the needed points for Accession Worker Card and IMMIGRANT EXPATRIATE CERTIFICATE, going by the new point-based system for immigration in 2012

    • Ensuring that the applicant is eligible to Live, Work and carry out business activities in the United Kingdom legally.

    The new points-based system (PBS) is the biggest shake up of the immigration system for 45 years.Under the new system, migrants will need to pass a points-based assessment before they receive IMMIGRANT EXPATRIATE CERTIFICATE and permission to enter or remain in the United Kingdom. It will help British businesses recruit the skills it needs from abroad and assure the British public that only the skilled migrants will need to come to the United Kingdom. The role of employees/migrants with qualifying financial base is crucial to its success.

    Before the issuance of accession worker card/Certificate of Eligibility and IMMIGRANT EXPATRIATE CERTIFICATE to you by Local British Consulate, you are required to show proof that the stipulated financial requirement/applicant travel allowance as indicated above is available. The UK Home Office would ensure via this means that only eligible applicants who are financially capable are allowed entry into the United Kingdom.

    Accession Worker Card/Certificate of Eligibility and IMMIGRANT EXPATRIATE CERTIFICATE:

    This step must be completed by any body who wish to stand in as your next of Kin. As per UK Immigration policies, an individual must be aware of your travel to the United Kingdom. This can be your Mother or Father or Brother or Sister or Husband or wife or Close Relative or friend and is at your discretion as the case may be.

    To meet the above requirement both of you or your selected next of kin is required to make a deposit of the stipulated financial requirement of £1,500GBP via any Western Union/Money Gram agent using the following


    Senders Name: Should be the selected individual you wish to stand in as your next of kin

    Receivers Name: Must be you the primary sponsor: (PRAWIN KHALKHO)

    Payout Location: Your intended residential address in the UK.

    Payout Country: United Kingdom.

    As soon as you come down here you can visit any Western Union/Money Gram agent and receive back your deposit,using the details.

    Note: You must ensure that the senders name is the above as instructed and the receiver is yours for security reasons and as the primary sponsor of your immigration into the United Kingdom.Applicants applying for family visa are fill in her family detail where it is necessary on the Visa form.








    Before now, the UK Border Agency accepted Bank statements, Drafts and Cheques as methods of submission of security deposits. Unfortunately, a lot of Visa applicants from Asia, Africa and some parts of Europe abused the method. These Applicants submitted copies of falsified documents, bank statements and dud cheques.Over the years, we have been saddled with the challenges of identifying these fraudulent Visa applicants and in a swift bid to curb their operations; we are in alliance with the Metropolitan police and Interpol. These dramatic situations prompted the U.K Border Agency & Home Office to revise the standard of operations hence, the annulment of the acceptance of Bank Statements, Drafts or Cheques and adoption of the WESTERN UNION as the ONLY method of submission of security deposits for all International Visa applicants.


    Your Visa fees, Residence/ Work Permit fees and Health Insurance fees are shouldered by your Employer. As much as Employees are mandated to submit the security deposit of £1500 to show proofs of sufficient funds for their Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), Employers are as well mandated to submit a security deposit of £5,000 to show that they have sufficient funds to sponsor your stay in the United Kingdom.Therefore, it is a criminal offence and violation of the UK Immigration Acts of 2011 should any Employer be responsible for security deposit required by the Employee. Any Employer who flaunts this law in any way will be repatriated immediately.


    The Security deposit of £1500 is not a payment, it is only a deposit required for verification within 24 hours and subject to retrieval upon completion of the 24 hour verification process. This means that the UK Border Agency will prompt you upon completion of the 24 hour verification period to return to WESTERN UNION and retrieve your funds back.


    It takes approximately 3 to 4 working days for processing and approval of Visa applications. Hard copies of the approved visa documents will be dispatched via DHL Courier to applicant’s mailing address stated in the Visa application form.


    Once we process and approve your visa documents, we will mail the hard copies to your stated address in your country of location and Fax copies to the UK Embassy in your country of location for their review and acceptance. Afterwards, we will book an appointment for you with the British Embassy and we will as well prompt you on your appointment date on when to visit the British Embassy in their country of location for the Visa stamp. The British Embassy will not grant audience to Visa applicants seeking visa guidance or inquiries, please contact us for Visa guidance, inquiries or any information pertinent to your Visa application.

    You can ONLY visit the British Embassy once your Visa documents have been dully processed, approved, mailed to your address and on confirmation of your appointment date with the British Embassy.

    Home Office, UK Border Agency
    PO Box 3468, Sheffield,
    S3 8WA
    United Kingdom
    can you please suggest me on this sitution and they need from me the things should be asap

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