With the advancement of technology, unscrupulous individuals have found a way to use the internet for their fraudulent activities by offering fake job opportunities via email and Facebook.

Aspiring OFWs should be extra cautious of the many illegal recruitment schemes. According to Atty. Rosemarie Duquez, Director II of POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Department, these online scams usually offer the following:

·         Quick deployment;

·         No experience and license required;

·         No placement or processing fees to be collected; and

·         Hassle-free processing of their documents for working abroad.

Moreover, here are the usual elements of an internet job scam that you need to look out for:

It is unsolicited. You received a job offer via email but you do not remember sending a job application. It is sometimes complete with a detailed job contract emphasizing the huge salary and the benefits.

Below is an example of an email from an illegal recruiter that was sent to an OFW aspirant:

Notice that the sender’s email address is not a WorkAbroad.ph email ([email protected]). Be wary of emails like this.

It is too good to be true. You are informed that you are shortlisted for a job opportunity in first world countries such as United Kingdom, Italy, Singapore, Canada, or Japan. The job promises a high salary with excellent benefits.  Strangely though, the scammer would often ask you to call them for inquiries. Please note that legit hiring companies can afford to call their target employees.

Looks valid at first glance. The scammer bears the names of legal institutions, licensed agencies or leading jobsites such as WorkAbroad.ph to build credibility and confirm its legality. Likewise, they pretend to be connected with a valid company or government agency and do not ask for money right away.

Phishing emails and phony web pages.
Phishing is an email message that requires the recipient to click on a certain link to acquire sensitive information such as your username, password, and other sensitive details by pretending to be a trustworthy entity. Instead of leading the user to the real login page, it will redirect to a fake website that looks like the legitimate page it poses. 

The recipient will be asked to enter his/her login ID and password hence information is being intercepted by the scammers to access his/her account and swindle him for money.


You can avoid phony websites and phishy emails by:

1.    Double checking the accuracy of site address. Before clicking the link in the email, hover your mouse pointer first. Google the official website of the company or entity being used. To cite an example, WorkAbroad’s official page is www.workabroad.ph.  If you happen to spot a phony link, do not open it and do not disclose any of your personal information.

2.    Verifying if the website is secured. Look out for the small padlock icon near the web address. This means that a website's identity has been verified by a trusted third-party authority and that it has a valid certificate for the URL that you're trying to reach.

3.    Validating that emails received are not sent from a personal email account, but from a company email address. There’s a good chance that it could be a scam if the interviewer makes an excuse for using a personal email address such as the company’s servers are down, or the company is experiencing too many problems with spam, or the company hasn’t yet set up its email system.

4.    Checking for spelling and bad grammar. Professional companies usually have a team of copy editors that will not allow a mass unproofread email to go out to its users. If you notice mistakes in an email, it might be a scam.


Do not fall for job offers from illegal recruiters. If you receive a proposal with one or more of the above-mentioned elements, check with POEA or report it for further action.

Learn more about keeping yourself safe from these suspicious entities, by taking the PEOS Online now.