The demand for overseas work steadily increases year on year, but unfortunately, more and more prospective workers are scammed by illegal recruitment schemes as well. Luckily, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) released a list of 10 reminders to ensure that aspiring and experienced OFWs do not become victims of illegal recruitment.

1. Apply only with licensed recruitment agencies.

Do not apply with consultancy firms, training centers, travel agencies and foundations that promise jobs abroad.

2. Check with POEA whether the position you are applying for has an approved job order.

Only apply to jobs approved by POEA.

3. Transact only with authorized representative(s) of a licensed agency.

You can always verify with the licensed agency to be sure that the representative is authorized.

4. Transact business only at the registered address of the agency.

Not in a coffee shop, the mall or even your neighborhood market.

5. Pay only the allowed placement fee.

It should be equivalent to one month salary, except for cases where charging of such fees is prohibited.

6. Pay the placement fee only after you have read and signed an employment contract.

Demand an official receipt reflecting the actual amount paid and purpose for which it was made.

7. Be wary of job offers through the internet that require applicants to immediately remit payment for intended visa, airfare and processing costs.

These should be shouldered by employers.

8. Be wary of ads or brochures requiring you to reply and enclose payment for application forms and processing of papers.

Again, the employer must pay for the following processing fees.

9. Make sure that you have the appropriate work visa/permit.

Be wary of job offers using tourist or visit visas.

10. Transact directly with government offices and personnel.

Never deal with fixers.