Conmen offer lavish pay packages to potential victims. Picture is for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Stock photo

Abu Dhabi: Conmen targeting school teachers with bogus job offers are at it again.

After Al Sanawber School, Abu Dhabi High College and Howard International School, the face of their new charade this time is Edison World School, yet another fictitious school with an Abu Dhabi address.

Modus operandi

The modus operandi of the conmen, however, remains the same – dangle a lavish pay package as bait in a bogus email offer letter and then coax the candidate to pay a visa fee through a travel agent to secure the ‘job’.

Indian Sayantan Banerjee who received an offer from one Jonathan Douglas A - supposedly the school’s HR director - says he almost fell for the scam had he not done a last-minute research. “The offer letter looked so genuine that I had almost made up my mind about giving it a go,” says the 32-year-old whose ‘official letter of appointment’ from the non-existent Edison World School offered him a weekly pocket allowance of Dh300 on top of a Dh14,500 monthly pay for the role of an English teacher.

In recent weeks, scores of others including Priya, Rajesh, Susanna, Mumtaz, Avinash and Ahmed have received the same offer letter that also promises additional monthly allowances of Dh1,000 for vehicle maintenance, Dh2,500 for travel and events and Dh700 for entertainment and recreation besides Dh17,659 in annual furnishing allowance, Dh10,000 for each leave period and Dh4,800 for ‘inter-continental travel’.

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. Yet many jobseekers living outside the UAE fall victim.

XPRESS investigations

Calls made to the cellpone numbers of the purported HR director and the travel agency provided in the email, went unanswered.

The bogus website has been created by stealing pictures and content from Repton School Abu Dhabi. There are land-phone or fax numbers. The address mentioned in the fake offer letters say Edison World School is located in Al Ain Road Baniyas, near Emirates Post Office but in reality there’s only a Baniyas co-operative society and the Baniyas public park near the Baniyas Post office off Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road.

When XPRESS called the Deira-based Arabian Eagle Tourism, named as partners by the conmen, a staff denied any links with the school, saying: “We have no other branch in Abu Dhabi or elsewhere and we have no connection with any school as far as recruitment is concerned.”

Scam alert

Not taking any chances, Repton School Abu Dhabi has begun issuing a scam alert on its landing page after it emerged Edison used their stolen branding to issue letters to prospective candidates, “It has come to our attention there is a fake organisation sending offer letters to prospective employees with the Repton Abu Dhabi branding. We would like to inform you that Repton Abu Dhabi is in no way affiliated with this organisation. Repton Abu Dhabi would never ask a candidate for a fee for a position at the school. Please be vigilant when receiving offer letters from third party organisations,” read the message.