Fraudsters target UAE jobseekers with fake migration offers

Fraudsters, jobseekers, fake migration offers,

Abu Dhabi - An official with VFS Global said there are plenty of cases of people being cheated with bogus offers.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 6 Aug 2019, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Aug 2019, 9:20 AM

Fraudsters are using the name of a Dubai-based visa and passport service provider to dupe jobseekers from various countries, offering them promises of jobs or immigration abroad.
An official with VFS Global said there are plenty of cases of people being cheated with bogus offers and warned jobseekers against falling prey to the scam.
"In 2018, VFS Global received more than 560 complaints, through e-mails from affected parties, about fraudulent entities posing as company representatives and making bogus job and immigration offers, in exchange for money charged towards 'visas or work permits'. Most of the complaints originated from individuals based in India, followed by those based in the Middle East," said Vinay Malhotra, regional group COO for Middle East, South Asia and China, VFS Global.
Malhotra claimed that they have found patterns through most complaints.
"The fraudulent entity informs an individual through e-mail that their qualifications have been found suitable for work abroad or for immigration and settlement purposes. The individual is asked to share personal data and make upfront payments to expedite a visa/immigration process or job offers. Sometimes, the scamster will say these costs would be reimbursed once the process is complete. These communications are fraudulent. VFS Global is not a recruitment company and does not offer jobs or immigration advisory," he added.
How to detect scams
Malhotra said that with many careful checks, people can spot fraudulent offers.
"The fraudsters post jobs online with hefty salaries and unbelievable benefits.
"There will be e-mails with the job offer or immigration promises from fabricated e-mail IDs, or there will be offers from a company an individual had not applied to. At times, one will receive an offer letter without giving an interview which includes the name and out-of-proportion logos of VFS Global with or without a fake embassy stamp.
"In some cases, there will be an offer letter asking one to pay the visa processing fee. There may be demand for advance payments to personal bank accounts with the threat of visa application rejection."
Over the years, many victims have fallen for recruitment scams as fraudsters keep innovating. An expat like Jojo Kadavil has been searching for a job for the past two months and has many miserable stories of fake offers to tell.
"There are so many fake job websites with openings listed for Middle Eastern countries, and there are even fake recruitment agencies. They even offer government jobs in lieu of money for visa or, in some case, a month's salary as commission. Over a period of time, jobseekers can spot these scams but I have seen so many people lose money," said Kadavil, who is now trying for a job in Abu Dhabi. "Indians can check whether a recruiting agent is registered with the Protector-General of Emigrants under the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. If not, then we should reach out to the Indian Embassy."
The embassy, has been carrying out campaigns to create awareness on the issue. It posts videos on social media of duped workers sharing their experience and sending out a warning to other citizens.
Suraj Kumar Sharma, Indian expat cheated by an illegal agent, said in a video message: "Please don't come here on visit visa through illegal agents. It's a trap."
Dos and don'ts
1- Job aspirants should never respond to unsolicited business propositions and offers from unfamiliar people
2-Do not disclose personal or financial details
3-Never publish passport or visa application numbers on public domains or social media platforms
4-Don't jump into any offers that sounds incredible
5-Check the veracity of the job or immigration offers before paying money or sharing personal details
6-If the perks offered by a recruitment agency or any other firm are above the market rate, ensure that the firm is real
7-For immigration or settlement abroad, go through the proper channel and authorised agencies

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