POEA asks job applicants exercise ‘extreme caution’ to avoid scammers, illegal recruiters

Published January 26, 2021, 2:42 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) advised the public – especially overseas job applicants – to exercise “extreme caution” when it comes to offers regarding employment abroad.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (MANILA BULLETIN)

POEA warned the public, particularly Filipino overseas job seekers, to be “wary of unscrupulous individuals” who are presenting themselves as employees of the Administration as well as other entities who are “using the name and logo of the POEA in their illegal activities.”

“In deceiving potential job applicants, the scammers use different schemes, including offering employment abroad, expedited transactions with the POEA, and financial solicitation,” POEA said.

POEA observed the proliferation of Facebook pages bearing the name and logo of the Administration and advertising supposed job vacancies of recruitment agencies.

“The act of misrepresentation as POEA personnel and unauthorized use of the Administration’s name and logo for overseas recruitment are against the law and considered as illegal recruitment with penalty of imprisonment and fine,” POEA said.

Given this, the POEA advises overseas job applicants to be extra careful and avoid dealing with the said illegal recruiters. They are also enjoined to “always verify job offers” through the POEA verification system at the POEA website www.poea.gov.ph.

Likewise, the Administration also encouraged the public to “report any illegal recruitment activities” – especially those involved in the said illegal act – to the Philippine National Police or contact the POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch Operations and Surveillance Division.

Early this month, operatives of the POEA and the AntiTransnational Crime Unit of PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-ATCU) arrested four suspected illegal recruiters posing as employees of the Administration.

The victims said four persons presented themselves as employees of the POEA and offered them jobs as farm workers in New Zealand in exchange for payment of processing fees.

POEA said that suspects were verified as “neither POEA employees nor were they authorized to recruit for overseas employment.”

Aside from the marked money, the operatives recovered from the group fake POEA identification cards, employment contracts bearing the logo of POEA, and several passports of the victims. They would be charged with estafa, syndicated illegal recruitment, usurpation of authority and might be facing possible lifetime imprisonment and millions of pesos in fines.