With the proliferation of fraudulent recruitment in the internet for supposed jobs in the United Kingdom, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration advised jobseekers to be wary of the modus operandi of scammers and offered tips in dealing with such offers.
Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said such bogus jobs are usually offered through unsolicited email or social media sites like Twitter and Facebook by scammers pretending to be representatives of legitimate companies in the United Kingdom.
They are in fact based in other countries but use forwarding addresses and mobile phone numbers in the UK. Cacdac said there were reports of cases of Filipino applicants who have been offered inexistent jobs through email in the form of scanned letters of appointment, work confirmation or employment contract offering attractive compensation and benefits from their supposed UK employers.
Upon acceptance of the job offer, the applicants were usually directed to contact specified UK travel agencies or immigration consultants who are supposed to apply for their work permits, visas and other travel documents at the UK Immigration Office.
The applicant would then be instructed to remit a sum of money to a Western Union account purportedly to cover their work permit and/or visa processing fees, courier expenses, assurance fee and other charges.
Cacdac issued the following tips to determine whether an offer of job in UK is real or a scam:
On job offers:
- Check with the POEA whether the employer has approved job orders
- Advise prospective UK employers to submit the original copies of their employment documents to the POLO Office, Philippine Embassy in London for verification and authentication.
- Genuine UK companies are registered and can be checked on www.companieshouse.gov.uk
- Genuine UK companies would not give a mobile number for contact details
- Most genuine UL companies would not use a hotmail, yahoo or gmail email accounts
- The British Government does not send unsolicited emails with job offers. Government vacancies are advertised on www.careers-civilservice.gov.uk
On visa issuance, fees, and procedure:
- The British Embassy does not issue Au Pair visas to Filipino nationals. The Philippines had never been included in the UK’s list of Au Pair countries. The Au Pair visa scheme had already been abolished effective last 26 November 2008 and has been replaced by the Youth Mobility Scheme under the new UK PointsBased System
- The new UK Points-Based Immigration System has done away with the requirement of the old ‘work permit’ which is now replaced by the ‘certificate of sponsorship’. To be able to issue a certificate of sponsorship in favor of a candidate or applicant, the prospective UK employer should be duly licensed as a sponsor by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Filipino jobseekers should verify the status of their prospective employers in the list of sponsors which can be found at the UKBA website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.
- The UKBA has stopped issuing visas for overseas domestic workers including nannies, drivers, gardeners and other household workers effective 06 April 2012. Thus, it does not allow the hiring of new overseas domestic workers
- Visas for Filipino who wish to enter UK are processed in the Philippines, not in the UK
- Visa fees are not paid in the UK. All visa fees are paid in partner banks in the Philippine
There are no additional visa fees or fees for additional services such as travel insurance, medical examination, police checks or home land security checks Cacdac said recipients of fake job offers should not send personal documents or details of credit cards or bank accounts, nor pay any money