The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) warned the public against a recruitment scam using dating apps or websites.
POEA chief Bernard Olalia issued the warning after receiving reports from individuals who have been offered overseas employment bound to the United States and Canada.
In an advisory, Olalia said the scheme is perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals via “catfishing” or the use of fictitious cyber identities.
It added that the culprits would contact potential victims in dating apps or websites who have common interests or mutual connections.
Once the scammers establish an affinity with their victims, they would send migration offers, including a promise of overseas jobs.
“The perpetrators would then send fake job contracts and company profiles and would refer the unsuspecting victims to overseas visa consultancy firms. The scammers, while maintaining their supposed romantic interest, would demand that payments be sent to the visa consultancy firms for the release of application forms and other documents, including supposed airport clearances,” the advisory read.
Olalia urged the public to ignore job offers from dating apps and websites and to refrain from depositing or transferring any amount of money to supposed ‘online romantic partners’ or recruiters.
However, he did not identify the dating app or the website where the scheme is perpetrated.
At the same time, the agency advised overseas job seekers are advised to use the POEA Verification System at the POEA website (www.poea.gov.ph) or email the POEA Information Center at email@example.com to confirm job opportunities overseas.
It also encouraged would-be OFWs to be more cautious and to immediately report any suspicious recruitment activities to the Operations and Surveillance Division via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on avoiding recruitment scams is available on the POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/airbranch.