Filipinos are being targeted by scammers offering jobs at cruise ships. Image Credit: File photo

Highlights

  • Scam begins with recruiters contacting job applicants, claiming they represent major companies
  • Scammers promise potential candidates they are guaranteed to get the job
  • Once the applicant expresses interest, recruiter then asks for a fee upfront

Dubai: Filipino jobseekers have been warned against a scam targeting applicants seeking employment opportunities abroad.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said it has uncovered a recurrence of a modus by fraudsters who are out to get money from people looking to work for a cruise ship.

The labour authority said illegal recruiters are sending out e-mails to potential candidates, enticing them with attractive job offers at major shipping companies such as Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean or Disney Cruise.

Applicants are promised that they are guaranteed to get a job, provided they pay a placement fee upfront.

“When the victim pays, the scammer – and the supposed job – simply disappear,” the POEA said in a statement.

Working for a cruise liner is popular among Filipinos. (Photo is for illustration purposes only.) Image Credit: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Getting a job on a cruise ship is popular among applicants from the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos working overseas are currently employed at international passenger vessels, as well as in cargo and other shipping lines.

Many work as part of the crew, as well as front office, accommodation and food and beverage teams.

From January to September 2017, more than 1.2 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were deployed. Most of the overseas workers are land-based, while more than 200,000 of them are sea-based workers.

People looking for employment in a cruise ship are advised that real recruiters don’t collect any fees, including recruitment and placement charges.

“Legitimate manning agencies and cruise lines are not allowed to charge administrative fees from seafarers,” the POEA pointed out.

How to spot a cruise ship job scam?

  • Jobs are advertised on free websites and social media.
  • Scammers would not pay advertisement for jobs that do not exist.
  • Emails are sent from free email accounts such as Yahoo and Gmail.
  • The correspondence is in poor English and very informal.
  • Scammers operate from countries such as Malaysia, Ghana, Nigeria, etc.
  • The job offers are usually very generous (high salaries, short working hours, long paid holidays).
  • There are no thorough interviews with candidates.
  • The job offer is for free, but asks payment for visa, training, or lawyer fee.
  • Payment is made through MoneyGram or Western Union.