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Mirdif City Centre. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: City Centre Mirdif has warned people about bogus job offers that they might have received in the name of the popular mall.

Of late, several jobseekers in south Asia have received employment contracts for various positions on a letter head bearing the name of Mirdif City Centre, one of the many malls owned by the Majid Al Futtaim Group.

The job offer is accompanied by a fake job visa copy and a letter from the purported office of the UAE’s embassy in New Delhi. It advises candidates to pay Rs20,000 (Dh1,050) online towards E-visa charges. Candidates are assured that the money will be refunded once they join the company.

“This is a fraudulent scheme that has no association with Majid Al Futtaim,” a spokesperson for City Centre Mirdif clarified in an email statement to Gulf News.

The recruitment agent has been calling me incessantly from a UAE number on WhatsApp asking me to pay the visa charges or risk losing the job opportunity.

- Tejinder Sharma, Job scam victim

“We wish to advise jobseekers that City Centre Mirdif only uses Majid Al Futtaim’s official channels to communicate its recruitment and employment practices and contacts applicants directly using specific job numbers and email addresses,” the spokesperson said.

One such unsuspecting job seeker, Tejinder Sharma from Punjab, India, has been offered a basic salary of Dh3,000 for an electrician’s job at the mall. Sharma said he wired Rs10,000 (Dh525) to a bank account in India last fortnight as instructed by his recruitment consultant in Dubai and was preparing to remit another Rs20,000 to secure the job which comes with a slew of perks, including free food, accommodation and transport.

“I have been told this [Rs20,000 fee] is standard procedure. The recruitment agent has been calling me incessantly from a UAE number on WhatsApp asking me to pay the visa charges or risk losing the job opportunity,” Sharma, 46, told Gulf News over the phone from India.

Whatsapp calling doesn’t work in the UAE but a SIM issued by a local telecom provider can be used to access the service in other countries.

Gulf News is in possession of several phone conversations and audio messages exchanged between Sharma and the ‘recruitment consultant' where the latter is coaxing the jobseeker to pay up.

“You arrange the money and let me know so that I can forward you the bank account number,” he tells Sharma in one such message.

In another message he’s trying to convince the jobseeker about the importance of visa charges “This is a security deposit towards visa charges that one has to pay on landing in Dubai.

Companies have made this new rule to prevent losses. Don’t worry it will be refunded to you within days,” he says.

Sharma said he was contacted by the recruitment agent shortly after he uploaded his CV on a job portal. Calls made to agent’s local number didn’t go through while messages sent to him remain unanswered.