Many Filipinos are looking for jobs abroad on the Internet, hoping to find better employment opportunities not only for their personal growth but for their families as well.
However, this search isn’t entirely an easy one, as it can become frustrating at one point or another. Desperation is also a possibility, making Filipinos consider any offer that come their way. And because they can get hopeless, they become vulnerable to scams—leaving them with nothing but regrets after taking the offer.
If you’re planning to join the OFW community soon, here are some ways to know if a particular job offer you're getting is a scam.
Confirm with POEA’s Listings
This should be the first step in determining if a job offer is credible or not. Recruitment agencies should be verified by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and be given the appropriate licenses needed to operate.
Perform a Background Check
Since almost everything can be verified on the web nowadays, start by searching online for your recruiter or whoever offered you the job and get all relevant information possible.
If they have a website, read the content found on every page, as legitimate recruiters will be keen on openly providing information about their business, their employment processes, professional experience, contact details, physical address, and other necessary data.
Verify Web Address
Aside from the web content, be mindful of the website’s address that appears in your browser. Usually, addresses that begin with “http” are secure, while those with “http” or “www” may not be as safe. Remember always to proceed with caution, even if you're just browsing their site.
Look for the Trust Seal
Another proof of legitimacy that can be found on the website is a “trust seal.” This serves as evidence that a particular business is legitimate, as it has been verified in terms of security and business identity. A trust seal may come in the form of a seal, badge, logo, or icon. You may confirm that a trust seal is active if a pop-up window appears upon clicking on it.
[caption id="attachment_4502" align="aligncenter" width="280"] (Source: Anglo-European Services, Inc.)[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4501" align="aligncenter" width="300"] (Source: OWWA)[/caption]
Use Other Resources
Other resources can also attest to a site’s reputation, such as “Webutation” and “ScamAdviser.” By simply inputting the recruiter’s site's URL, you’ll receive assessments that prove the business’ legitimacy. Details about their website like its web title, business type, domain age, and owner, among others can be used as basis for their credibility.
Offers That Are Too Promising
If you receive an email job offer promising a very high salary along with other rewarding and looked-for benefits such as medical insurance, tuition fees for dependent children, and relocation expenses, among others, don’t accept it on the spot! As enticing as it sounds, it may as well be just a well-tailored scam.
Again, go back to the items above and perform every check you can to verify the recruiter’s legitimacy.
Don’t Give Too Much Personal Information
In any job application, you are required to provide all your personal information — but only after you've been hired. If your recruiter keeps on asking for your details even before you’ve accepted the offer, this is a red flag. Confirm their legitimacy again by carrying out the mentioned items above.
Check Email Address Used
Apart from looking at the content of the email, also take note of the email address used by the sender. Companies would usually have a company-specific email address domain, such as "@kalibrr.com" instead of the generic and free "@gmail.com" or "@yahoo.com."
If the email was sent through free email accounts, then it might be a scam.
Don’t fall for ‘recruiters’ asking for payments for certain processes like the visa or expediting costs, or even for seminar fees that guarantee a job abroad in exchange for the cash.
As an applicant, you are not obliged to pay any amount of money to your recruiter regardless of the reasons they give, as the recruiters are paid by the employer they’re working for.