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OFW GUIDE: DEAL ONLY WITH LICENSED RECRUITMENT AGENCIES — POEA
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 7, 2012, 8:58 am

(By Karla Maquiling, GMA News, 6 Oct 2012)

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) administrator Hans Cacdac urged job seekers to deal only with licensed placement agencies, not directly with foreign employers, especially as job scams abound on the Internet.

In an interview with GMA News Online, Cacdac said online job scams are becoming more prevalent.

He urged applicants to be vigilant and not commit to any offer without an official job order.

Cacdac said applicants can check with POEA for the status of these agencies.
 
He also warned against making any advance payment, especially for services such as “embassy interview coaching.”

Job scam victim

Cacdac’s warning came after the POEA was alerted about a fraudulent e-mail that offered employment to Filipino nurses and caregivers at Lakeridge Health, a community hospital in Ontario, Canada.
 
The job scam e-mail, the fourth of its kind that the POEA has encountered this year, has already victimized an unsuspecting nursing graduate from Batangas who reported the incident to GMA News Online.
 
“Azenith,” who asked that her real name be withheld, said the e-mail sender asked her to pay P3,800 through Western Union as reservation fee for a two-day “embassy interview coaching” program in Manila.

This training was required for Azenith’s employment with Lakeridge Health.
 
Azenith said she and her father checked the Lakeridge website and noticed that the recipient of the payment was listed as executive vice president and chief nursing executive of the hospital. 

They both concluded that the offer was legitimate and sent payment to the agency.
 
Azenith realized that she had been scammed when she arrived from Batangas and called up the placement agency to ask for directions to the training venue.

Her calls were diverted to other applicants who were also in Manila for the training. Azenith would discover later that the agency had given a non-existent office address.
 
According to Aaron Lazarus, senior director for communications at Lakeridge Health, the hospital is aware of the fraudulent e-mails and has reported these to the Durham Regional Police.
 
“It is unfortunate that someone has chosen to use our name in an effort to scam individuals with false claims and exploit hope in order to extort money,” Lazarus said in an e-mail to GMA News Online.
 
He added that Lakeridge Health has issued a warning on social-networking sites Twitter and Facebook on the incident. - VVP, GMA News


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