POEA warns vs. job offer text scams

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Friday warned the public against text messages offering bogus employment opportunities.

In an advisory, POEA chief Bernard Olalia cautioned against SMS (short message service) phishing, or smishing, in the guise of offering jobs but the main purpose is to get personal information.

“In smishing, text messages promising employment and high salaries are sent to trick users to click on suspicious links. These links then redirect users to fraudulent sites when clicked. These sites may steal users’ personal data, introduce mobile malware, and even commit fraud,” Olalia said.

“Applicants for overseas employment are reminded to avoid clicking on suspicious links, especially those coming from services and numbers which they did not sign up for,” it added.

Olalia also advised the people to block the numbers and report smishing incidents to their telecommunications provider, the National Privacy Commission, and the National Telecommunications Commission.

“The public is also advised to be vigilant in protecting their contact information and other sensitive personal information, such as copies of their government-issued identification cards and documents, in order to avoid receiving spam and fraudulent messages, or falling victim to unlawful activities such as identity theft and cyber extortion,” it said.

At the same time, the POEA reiterates its warning in Advisory No. 32, Series of 2021, regarding the “Please read and understand” scam, wherein individuals and/or entities copy the information of licensed recruitment agencies, such as its name and the name of its authorized representative, to promise employment to other countries, and ask payment from applicants for document processing, training, or slots for online orientations and seminars.

“The public is advised to ignore these messages and refrain from transferring any amount of money to these scammers,” it added.

Those seeking overseas jobs are advised to use the POEA Verification System at the POEA website (www.poea.gov.ph) or email the POEA Information Center at connect@poea.gov.ph to confirm overseas employment offers.

Also, the agency encouraged the public to immediately report any suspicious recruitment activities to the Operations and Surveillance Division via email at osd@poea.gov.ph.

Further information on avoiding recruitment scams is available on the POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/airbranch. (PNA)

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