How to Spot Illegal Recruiters in the Philippines

When applying for a job abroad, be careful of illegal recruiters.

A lot of Filipinos aspire to work in other countries, in search of better job opportunities to be able to support their families and loved ones in the country. Because of their dreams of becoming an Overseas Filipino Worker, some people are easily enticed when offers of job opportunities overseas come knocking on their door.

However, not all job opportunities should be considered. The reason? Some of them are being offered by people and companies who are not authorized to do so. Also known as illegal recruiters, they are the prime suspects why there are many OFWs who fall victim in the hands of their employers.

Characteristics of Illegal Recruiters

Illegal recruiters will try everything and anything to lure potential victims. How can you spot an illegal recruiter? Below is the list of when to raise the red flag and step back:

1. They do not have a license from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
2. They will immediately ask or talk to you about the placement fee and will not issue an Official Receipt.
3. They will promise a prospective employee.
4. They will ask you to undergo a medical examination even without an employment contract or employer.
5. They do door-to-door recruitment of applicants instead of doing it in a POEA-licensed recruitment office.
6. They hide important matters and details about the job.
7. They will entice you about direct-hiring and get a job even without proper documentation.
8. They will offer you of immediate departure to the Philippines after paying the placement fee.
9. They will urge you to use a Tourist Visa instead of a Working Visa.
10. They will not present an employment contract.
11. They will encourage you to refer and invite your friends, family members, relatives, and other colleagues to apply in the agency.
12. They do not disclose any information about themselves like real name, address or other identification.
13. They will promise that the employer will process your document on your behalf.
14. They will show you previous applicants who successfully work abroad.
15. They will promise that a backer or connection will do all the processing.

Different Illegal Recruiter Modus

There are different modus used by these illegal recruiters and these are:

1. Tourist Worker Scheme or leaving the country as tourists but they are actually leaving for employment abroad.
2. Escort Services when they will escort you to the airport or seaport and you will be allowed to leave without the required travel documents.
3. Blind Ads or advertisements for overseas employment published on social media or the street. These ads do not contain the name of the recruiter and only has a phone number or PO Box where you can contact them or forward your application.
4. Assumed Identity or where you will leave under another name with fake birth certificates and other documents. Minors are usually deployed under this modus.
5. Direct Hiring where workers are directly recruited by a foreign employer and are deployed as tourists.
6. Trainee Worker Scheme or you will be deployed as a trainee on a training agreement. This is more often used with HRM students who are leaving in the guise of undergoing a traineeship program in a hotel overseas but they will eventually land a job in restaurants or hotels abroad.
7. Tie-Up or Kabit System where unlicensed recruiters tie-up with license agencies and recruiters. Workers are deployed under a job order of a licensed agency but they will actually work for another employer abroad.
8. Mail Order Bride Scheme where marriage is arranged by a broker between a Filipina and a foreigner. This Filipino wife will end up as a domestic helper for the family abroad.

Always be vigilant when applying for different jobs abroad! Make sure to check with POEA first if the company is legit or not.

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