UAE | Crime

Bogus agent in Dh37,000 Adnoc job scam

Doha-based man lured with five-fold pay hike and villa for assistant IT support position through forged offer letter

  • By Abhishek Sengupta, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 August 21, 2013
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Qatar-based Syed Masood Agha, 35, said he nearly fell for a job scam when he got one such offer from Abu Dhabi.
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Abu Dhabi: If you have just been offered a job in the UAE out of the blue with pay several times your current salary and hefty perks, think twice before accepting it.

Chances are you could end up an unsuspecting victim of a scam where jobseekers are being lured with ‘genuine rubber-stamped’ offer-letters.

Qatar-based Syed Masood Agha, 35, said he nearly fell for the racket when he got one such ‘job offer’ from Abu Dhabi.

“I am registered on a job site and it [offer] came through them but something somewhere just didn’t seem right,” Agha told XPRESS over the phone from Doha.

Agha received an offer for the post of “asst. IT Supports’ from a company claiming to be Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company. He was offered a monthly salary of Dh 37,650.81 ($10,250) plus a weekly pocket allowance of Dh 1,836.50 ($500.00). Further benefits included allowances for car maintenance, entertainment and recreation, travel and events all to the tune of another $2,550 per month.

Beyond expectations

Agha says he had mentioned only $3,500 as his expected salary in a questionnaire for a ‘online job application interview. “No company would pay such kind of salary to a person who is at the stage of his career that I was in. That rang an alarm bell in my head,” he said. Agha works as a LAN administrator at an Athens-based oil and gas company in Doha earning around 7,000 Qatari Riyals (Dh7,060) a month.

That wasn’t all. The ‘offer letter’ included perks like travel and medical insurance, family accommodation in a ‘three bedroom duplex villa’, free education for children ‘home or abroad’ and a brand new car. “I thought words like these were provocative and certainly didn’t appear professional,” he said.

Agha was even asked to review the ‘offer’ and send back a scanned copy of the acceptance page which is when he uncovered the ‘hitch’.

The offer on a Takreer letterhead, a copy of which is with XPRESS, mentioned Agha was required to contact the designated ‘Traveling Agency’ for acquisition of work/residence permit papers.

It clearly said though that as a company policy, all non-UAE resident employees must bear the financial responsibilities for their work permit processing fees. To make it sound credible, they said it was in line with the ‘Expatriate Statuary Law of UAE in compliance with the U.N. Terrorism Act’.

Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company also known as Takreer is one of 16 subsidiary companies of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) operating in oil, gas and petrochemical industry as well as crude oil and gas transport and services.

Adnoc had recently cautioned jobseekers in the UAE and abroad about fraudsters offering fictitious jobs usually through e-mails. In a public notice, the company was quoted as saying: “The forged job offers ask the victim to remit cash money to cover the work permit, visa application and recruitment fees.”

Calls to the etisalat mobile number provided on the fake letter head went unanswered.

XPRESS has reported extensively on recruitment scams in the past, cautioning job-seekers against the tactics used by bogus placement companies.

According to the UAE Labour Law, it’s is illegal to charge candidates for jobs.

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Comments (3)

Your comments
  1. Added 09:04 August 22, 2013

    Well he not the only one, a friend of mine in Pakistan, who is a senior doctor got one appointment letter from a Hospital in Abu Dhabi stating quite generous salary with all the perks in ++, the letter was signed by a Doctor, upon contacting the Doctor(who did not want to give any info on tele, even the location of the hospital), he said to contact some travel agency in Dubai and hanged the tele line. These kind of people are deceiving many professionals and should be caught.

    Adil Hussain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 08:17 August 22, 2013

    I had similar scenario back in 2010 when I have just been made redundant due to downturn of my formal employer. I had a job offer(fake) that looked so real from Chevron Spain. It was so suspicious to me that I've even called the number showing in my Job Offer and positively the fictitious HR manager responded my call.Well, in a short words, I could trap the man when I asked where he got my application from and he stated Monster Gulf/Monster India thru which I have not applied.I told the guy that he could send the original job offer to the Spain Embassy in Abu Dhabi from where I would signed and have my documents legalized.... The man never turned back since then.... Briefly, I would recommend everyone receiving such offers to be very diligent about it as it would only be about stealing your money... please be careful.... and best of luck with your job hunt

    Mehdi, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 23:40 August 21, 2013

    What to talk about Qatar or other countries, same has been happening here also on a very large scale and nothing has been done so far in order to stop this. These fraudsters are spread everywhere and deceive people by giving attractive Ads in the newspapers. The innocent job seeker has no other choice than to pay them just because he is not aware of this fraud. They charge in couple of hundreds from each candidate depending upon his or her profile and than make a couple of fake interview phone calls to the candidate just to make it real. And than the candidate keeps on following up with the agent with a hope to get a job but eventually ends in the middle of no where. The government should take action against these fraudsters?

    Omer Khan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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