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Dwight School Image Credit:

DUBAI: An IB school in Dubai has cautioned job seekers against bogus offer letters issued in its name.

The warning comes after scores of people in South Asia received fake employment contracts on a letter head bearing the name of New York’s famous Dwight School located in Al Barsha.

Salaries offered for teaching jobs range from Dh25,000-Dh35,000 and come with a slew of attractive perks such as free meals, Dh4,600 monthly for car maintenance and Dh170,659 annually towards home furnishings.

To clinch the amazing deal, the unsuspecting candidates are advised to wire $3,000 (Dh11,020) to a purported travel firm in Deira so that their visa papers and work permits could be processed. They are told the money will be refunded once they join the school.

As it turns out, these offer letters are not from Dwight School but from conmen behind the familiar job scam.

School clarifies

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In an email statement to Gulf News, a spokesperson for Dwight School Dubai said: “It has been brought to our attention that a number of people looking for employment have received fraudulent job offers under the name of Dwight School Dubai as part of a recruitment scam. Only jobs promoted on the Dwight School Dubai website are legitimate and we urge all applicants to be cautious and verify the website authenticity when applying for jobs. We have a disclaimer on our website to flag that career opportunities are posted on our website and not external pages alone. Dwight School Dubai’s legal team have submitted complaints with the relevant authorities and will be pursuing these.”

Many fall for the scam

An art educator in Kolkata said she lost $3,000 (Dh11,020) to the scam in September while an English school teacher in Mumbai reported losing $4,500 (Dh16,530) last fortnight.

Aarti Roy, an artist and art educator in Kolkata said she received an offer letter from a person claiming to be Dwight’s school recruitment manager shortly after she uploaded her resume on a job portal. “I looked up the school’s website and found a math’s teacher by that name. I found that odd but thought that perhaps they are multi-tasking. Understandably so, I didn’t think twice when she instructed me to contact Dann Travel and Tourism in Dubai and remit $3,000 to its bank account in North East India towards my visa and work permit charges,” said Roy who was offered a salary of Dh20,400 for an art educator’s post besides Dh24,413 in additional monthly allowances.

“I wanted a job change, my son wanted to shift to an IB school, and I have a very good resume....all these things actually made me blind and stupid,” she said, sharing audio records of her phone conversations with a certain Alan Walter of Dann Travel and Tourism.

Travel firm doesn’t exist

Investigations made by Gulf News show that there is no such travel company in Dubai or anywhere else. The only place the fictitious Dann Travel and Tourism exists is on the internet. Calls made to the cellphone numbers mentioned on its website elicited no response.

Neha Pathak from South Mumbai, who was offered a take home package of Dh47,400 for the job of an English teacher, said she was told she would be given two months salary in advance as soon as she remits $4,500 to the travel firm and get her papers processed.

Job scams

Gulf News has exposed several similar job scams in which conmen created not just fake letterheads but also bogus websites of popular schools, hospitals and oil companies in the UAE. Etihad, Emirates, Adnoc, ADEC, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Awazen Hospital, and New York University Abu Dhabi are among several UAE-based establishments in whose names fake offer letters have been sent worldwide

Authorities have repeatedly urged job seekers to exercise caution in dealing with these emails.

The appointment letters which bear forged stamps of the ministry of interior, assure candidates that all expenses made towards visa and work permit costs will be reimbursed once they land in the UAE. The candidates never hear back from any one travel firm once they have made the bank transfer.

According to UAE labour laws, it is illegal for recruitment agents and companies to charge job candidates and employees any fees for any part of the recruitment process or residence visa and work permit application.

How the scam works

1. Conmen zero posing as HR managers contact job aspirants after looking up their CVs on recruitment portals.

2. Job aspirants are then sent ‘terms of employment’ promising unusually high salary plus perks. They are asked to review and accept the offer

3. Once the offer is accepted, they are asked to fill UAE ‘visa application form’ and pay ‘travel agent’ designated to arrange visas/work permit

4. Job aspirants make the payment in the hope of securing ‘dream job’. They never hear back from the conmen again.

Top job scam warning signs

Anything about it (particularly outrageous salary/perks) is too good to be true

They contacted you out of the blue

They ask for money towards registration/processing fee/other charges

The language of the appointment letter is sloppy

Cellphone numbers instead of landline

They offer to hire you without proper interview.

Job related emails from free email accounts (gmail, yahoo, hotmail) instead of corporate email accounts

Fake URLs (websites)