Some Filipinos seek for employment opportunities abroad as a way to make their families' lives better. But some applicants fall prey on illegal recruiters who give them nothing but empty promises and false hopes, only to realize later on the trouble they have signed up on.  
What are some of the most obvious signs of an illegal recruiter? And what can you do to avoid them?
  1. They are not registered to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
    Your first instinct when dealing with any recruiter is to question whether they are POEAaccredited. To do this, always check the official POEA website for the list of accredited recruitment agencies.
  2. They will ask for placement fee immediately without issuing an Official Receipt
    Asking for upfront payment is already a red flag in itself. More so if it doesn’t come with an official receipt. An OR serves as proof that their business abides by the regulations of the country—such as being BIR-registered, pays taxes, and provides an OR.
  3. Requiring a medical exam without a clear employer
    Taking a medical exam can be very costly on your end. Moreover, these medical records are only for your employer to see and are oftentimes confidential. Make sure that you ask your recruiter who exactly you will be working for—so your results will not fall in the wrong hands.
  4. Hiding important information about the job
    Illegal recruiters tend to be secretive when it comes to other details of the job--or if there is even a job at all. Find the nitty-gritty of the agency, the job, and the employer. If you gut tells you something isn't right, then it probably is.
  5. Urges applicant to apply for tourist instead of a working visa
    Our local immigration authorities have always put our international safety before anything else. A Filipino citizen going to another country must never apply for a tourist visa with the intent of working. Not only is this illegal, but this leaves you unprotected from possible human trafficking schemes—which, unfortunately, some Filipinos fall prey on.
  6. Promises a fast and convenient departure abroad
    Travelling isn't as easy for the average Filipino, and certainly not for someone who is finding employment overseas. So, expect a lot of paperwork and other documents that'll take weeks and weeks to process. A recruitment agency’s job is to ensure that these are done safely and securely. An illegal recruiter, on the other hand, would tend to speed things up for no reason.
  7. Illegal recruiter has no valid ID
    Always ask for a valid identification from the recruiter. If possible, ask for two or more IDs to make back up their identity and strong stance working in the Philippines. Watch out for fake IDs that can be easily obtained nowadays. Research for the clear signs of a fake versus original ID.
  8. No employment contract
    No one gets hired into a reputable job without a contract. If you have been suddenly hired but the recruiter or employer cannot present you even a soft copy of your contract, this is a clear indication that your employment is not as secure as it claims to be. More so, you will have no clue on what grounds you are in which can leave you unprotected.
  9. They have no office
    An illegal recruiter will ask for you to meet in public or informal places like restaurants or malls. In this case, always insist on meeting in their agency office. If it seems like they aren't giving you a more professional place to do business and are just giving you reasons, then it's probably time to back off.
  10. Impressing the applicant with records of previous employees
    In this scenario, you have to be very mindful. It is very easy to think that a recruitment agency is legitimate when they show you their previous recruits who have shown success in another country because of them. Maybe these people are hired to pose as recruits for show.
Apply now at to find legitimate overseas companies. With the rampant illegal recruitment and trafficking happening everywhere, it is important to stay vigilant when finding the perfect opportunity for you and your family.