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Philippine Government warns of new recruitment scam | Immigration Matters

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The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila has warned Filipinos seeking jobs abroad about a new recruitment scam which the Philippine Embassy in Germany uncovered.

In a statement, the DFA said two Filipinos contacted the embassy for help in verifying the status of a company named Markel-Power International, located in the northern German city of Bremen, which had informed the two through e-mail that they would be hired by the firm.

But the company had one condition for the jobs. They first had to pay 70 euros (about P4,600) through Western Union to an employment company based in Monza, a city in Italy’s Lombardy region.

The Philippine embassy discovered that Markel-Power International was non-existent, was not registered with the Bremen Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had a fictitious address, had no telephone and fax numbers, and was using a host in the United States for its English website.

“The embassy is convinced this recruitment scheme is another variation of the Nigerian 4-1-9 advance-fee scam designed to victimize innocent Filipino jobseekers,” chargé d’affaires Christine Queenie Mangunay said.

The Nigerian 4-1-9 scam, also known as the Nigerian advance-fee scheme, involves the receipt of an unsolicited letter allegedly from a Nigerian Central Bank employee or from the Nigerian government. It is named after the section of the Nigerian penal code which tackles fraudulent schemes.

The embassy has warned Filipino jobseekers of the new scam and has asked the DFA to bring the matter to the attention of relevant authorities such as the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Justice and Philippine National Police.

Meanwhile, an overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) group yesterday called on the Philippine government to do something about the “unabated” illegal recruitment of OFWs to Macau.

Cynthia Tellez, executive director of the Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW) based in Hong Kong, said the Philippine government was ignoring the victims of illegal recruitment.

MFMW called on the government to provide immediate assistance, such as temporary shelter, legal counsel and air passage, to all victims of illegal recruitment, and to arrest and prosecute all illegal recruiters of Filipinos in Macau.

According to Tellez, MFMW handled nearly 50 OFWs who were victims of illegal recruitment to Macau in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Thirteen OFWs had sought the assistance of the Filipino Catholic Pastoral Center and Migrante Macau. Tellez said the group sought the assistance of the Philippine consulate on Jan. 5.

“We were told by the assistance to nationals section officer that we cannot get any assistance from them and they even blamed us for our plight,” Tellez quoted one of the OFWs, Rico Cabangon, as saying. Source: Jerome Aning, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Immigration Matters Comment

Unfortunately fake job scams like this are on the rise in the UK and Europe.

For tips on how to spot a fake job offer see:

How to spot a fake job offer  

See also:

How to ‘check out’ a UK company from anywhere in the world

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 qualifiy 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 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 – if something seems too good to be true it probably is. 

Have you received a fake job offer? You can comment on this story below. 

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

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers/points/whatisthepointsbasedsystem/employingmigrants/

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9 Responses to “Philippine Government warns of new recruitment scam”
Read them below or add one

  1. Employers and agencies in Canada, as the UK, are not allowed to charge for getting someone a job. It is agencies in your country which charge, but this practice is illegal in the UK and Canada.

  2. Jayjay Mata says :

    Hi, like Richell, im also a victim. It’s too good to be true, right? but this is also my dream, a dream for a jobless nurse. I also want to go to Canada. I got the the email and text at the same time and rushed to Western Union to make the payment and actually planning to go there with my dad to attend the orientation. But now, i read the notice of Hanover and District Hospital that the one sending emails to nurses/cregiver for a job opportunity is a scam. How can they manage to bluff other people with that kind of scam. they’re very cruel. Sympathy for those peole like me….

  3. How could they be so cruel indeed? These vicious heartless criminals prey on desperate poor migrants.
    The golden rule is simple:
    GENUINE EMPLOYERS DON’T ASK FOR MONEY TO BE SENT FOR EXPENSES VIA WESTERN UNION!!!

    WHEN ARE WESTERN UNION GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE CROOKS WHO HIDE BEHIND THEIR SYSTEM TO DEFRAUD MIGRANTS?

  4. richell paccial says :

    Good afternoon. I am Richell Y. Paccial from the Philippines. I am a Registered nurse and a victim of the newest Scam on the internet. I was sent an email by hanover@zoho.com. I felt that it could be a scam, but I thought it was authentic because it gave your website as a link, and that Brad Holman’s name was given.. I was at the height of excitement in working in Canada that I refuse to think negative thoughts at the moment and grabbing the chance was the best thing. And also that they were asking for not so big amount of 3,800 pesos. I was elated that what I’ve been asking for will finally be answered by God. I am working as a volunteer and apparently I didn’t have my own money and so I asked money from my parents. I feel bad now that I let myself in this situation. And I have also compromised my family’s finances.

    How could people be this cruel and take advantage of other people? I just hope others won’t suffer the same.

    Anyway, thank you for the advisory, it was just in time before i get a plane ticket to manila for their supposed 2-day seminar.

  5. The name and address of the scammer will also be fake. The passport you received is probably stolen or they have used someone’s ID, as a scammer would not send his own passport and address. Most of these scam originate from outside the UK.

  6. I am a new recruitment scam too, would you please help…. to find that man there… I have an address that scammer…

  7. Geraldine Burga says :

    Dear Applicant,
    After reviewing your CV and interview answers we are indeed pleased
    with your performance.We are sending you this contract mail because
    the employment is urgent and this space has been vacant for long. On
    this note we are ready to have you fill our vacant post as our latest
    employee. Therefore attached with this mail is a Contract of Agreement
    for you to review and sign at the bottom if you are satisfied with the
    terms of contract and send us a scanned copy of the signed contract
    you filled. We will make the payments for your travel papers and other
    relevant travel document you need but you are to make the
    payment for your UK work Permit as you are a non UK – Citizen. The
    management of the Hotel will take care of your Visa, Flight ticket,
    and other travel cost but you will shoulder the cost for the
    processing of your UK Work permit. On this note you are to mail the
    travel agent after signing the contract with a signed copy of your
    contract letter so that they can furnish you with the necessary
    details on how to get your work permit and other travel documents in
    due time. You are to contact the travel agent via mail Mr. Jimmy Stitt
    of Delta Travel Ltd via to deltatravelsj@gmail.com
    +4470457 26961

    We will expect to hear from you soon.
    Regards,
    Ms Barbara,
    Hr manager.

    FROM: Marriottandalbert Hotel <hrmarriottandalberthotel@gmail.com

  8. […] Philippine Government warns of new recruitment scam […]

  9. […] Philippine Government warns of new recruitment scam […]

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