Former OFWs Warned of Ongoing Online Recruitment Scam
In a severe warning to former overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has revealed an illegal recruitment scam where unsuspecting individuals fall victim.
Norman Tansingco, the BI Commissioner, has advised former OFWs to stay vigilant. These scammers use legitimate documents and records to deceive individuals into illegal employment overseas.
Commissioner Tansingco said, “The modus operandi of these unscrupulous individuals involves using the records of legitimate contracts to facilitate their departure under false pretenses while actually redirecting them to work illegally in a different country.”
In addition, he also highlighted that the BI, with the help of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), runs an integrated system to validate the legitimacy of documents that former OFWs present when seeking to go back abroad, as reported by the Canadian Inquirer.
Tansingco assured, “Our stringent immigration measures will help identify the authenticity of presented clearances, safeguarding the interests of our fellow Filipinos.”
However, even with BI’s efforts, incidents are still unavoidable, bringing light to the gravity of this concern. On July 13, immigration officers intervened with a 37-year-old Filipina bound for Doha, Qatar.
Her spotted layover was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). During the inspection and the authentication processes with the DMW, authorities noticed some discrepancies in her documents.
This led to the holding of her departure. Ultimately, they discover she is a victim of the illegal recruitment scheme. She was bound to go to Dubai as a household worker but without any sure employer.
Immigration Deputy Spokesperson Melvin Mabulac says former OFWs are now target of job scams offered abroad since they already have the documents. pic.twitter.com/D9mTa8kxPZ
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) July 17, 2023
The BI determines former OFWs’ usual vulnerability in such deceptive strategies. The agency stated, “The victim said that she does not have a confirmed employer yet and that her documents will be processed upon arrival in Dubai.”
Before that incident, another scam was reported on July 12. Immigration officers have intercepted another female OFW at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.
The female victim said she processed her recruitment through a TikTok advertisement. This is another alarming concern regarding the role of social media platforms in conducting illegal schemes.
To avoid further victims, particularly the former OFWs, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking is currently learning preventive measures to press charges against the illegal recruiters.
Their goal is to stop their exploitative doings and ensure the security and safety of former OFWs. All aspiring to work abroad and former OFWs should stay cautious and vigilant when dealing with online recruiters.
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