10 Tips for OFWs to Avoid Illegal Recruiters

Many Filipinos are eager to find a job abroad, hoping to have a better life for their families. While there are already a lot of government-to-government employment programs between the Philippines and several countries, a lot of job seekers still go through recruiters to find a job abroad.

There are lots of jobs available for Filipinos abroad, but many job seekers are scammed by illegal recruiters who run away with their money without a real job to actually offer.

To avoid getting scammed and losing your money to illegal recruiters, check out these reminders from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA):

Transact directly with government offices and personnel. Don’t deal with fixers; while they will promise to make the process faster and easier in exchange for a fee, you might actually be transacting with an illegal recruiter.

Apply only at licensed recruitment agencies. There are plenty of agencies offering jobs abroad, but not all are accredited by the POEA.

Transact only with the licensed agency’s authorized representatives. Make sure this person actually works for the agency, not someone posing to be one.

Only transact business at the agency’s registered business address, especially if it involves payment. Don’t agree if the recruiter tells you to meet up and pay at a coffee shop or someplace else.

Double check with the POEA if the position you’re applying for actually has an approved job order.

Beware against brochures or ads that require payment for application forms and service for processing of your papers. Don’t get scammed. A lot of people create these fake job ads but will just run away with your money.

Beware against job offers on social media and the internet requiring immediate payment for processing costs, visa, and airfare. While these sound promising, the jobs could actually be fake – and you’ll lose your money in the advanced payments.

Ensure you are given the appropriate work visa/permit. Don’t accept a tourist visa, especially in the UAE. Your recruiter might claim you’ll get work faster with a tourist visa but you’ll be breaking laws if you find a job and work without a proper permit.

Pay only the allowed placement fee. Many agencies no longer collect a placement fee, but if yours requires one, it should be more your 1-month salary.

Pay the placement fee, if any, only after you have read the employment contract.

Good luck with your job hunting!