Five Red Flags of Illegal OFW Recruitment
1. Questionable Money Allocation
There will be a lot of fees that will be presented to you when you are applying to work abroad through an agency; however, the only fee you should pay is a placement fee with an official receipt that is given to you. Take note that the placement fee must be equal to one month’s salary, exclusive of documents and processing costs. A sure sign of illegal money placement is when they tell you to answer to a certain PO Box address where you need to send your payment so that the document processing will be faster.
2. If they’re cutting corners
OFW job recruitment agencies are there to make the process swift, efficient and accurate. They go the extra mile in order to ensure that their recruit is brought to the country of employment safe and secure without cutting corners or speeding up the process. You’ll notice that they are inefficient when instead of a working visa, they get you a tourist visa. Another sign is that they work with fixers, and do not go through the right agencies. You should always go through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to assure that everything you’re doing is legal.
3. They do not have an office
One of the most blatant signs of an illegal OFW recruiter is if they do not have an office. All legitimate recruitment agencies have offices and a professional looking environment where they conduct work. Moreover, the POEA license should be posted in their office. A lot of OFW recruiters found online expect to meet their clients at coffee shops or fast food restaurants. You don’t know exactly what company they are working for, and even if they are affiliated with a company, it may have hidden costs or may not be registered with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, which may lead to more problems in the long-term.
4. Training Scams
OFW recruitment agencies take care of the paperwork, job matching and assuring that you get to your country of destination and meet with your employers. Recruitment agencies are not training agencies. A sure-fire way to assure that a recruitment agency is scamming you is if they have training sessions before leaving telling you that it’s a necessity and that they are tied up with the employer. Also, if the recruitment agency claims to also be a training agency, it’s most likely a scam.
5. Dubious Contact Person
When you find a recruiter online, always make sure you go through necessary steps to assure the legitimacy of the contact. If you’re faced with a dubious contact, be wary. Be careful of contact persons that only displays his work contact details such as a business card but does not show any identification card issued by a government. Aside from this, OFW recruiters should have prospect employers for you. If they don’t have a list of possible contacts in the country of choice or even proof of their partnership, most likely, the contact person is illegal and can’t help you move to your preferred country without issues.