Filipinos who are seeking to work in the UK are being warned about an internet scam that purportedly offers UK work permits and visas.
The Philippines Embassy in London said that people were being targeted by fake job offers through social networking sites such as Facebook and by email. The scam features real-looking letters of appointment and confirmation of sponsorship to work in the UK. In some cases, the fraudsters had even contacted people by Skype to discuss the fake job opportunities.
The scam works by persuading applicants to deposit money in a Western Union account, supposedly to pay for fees for processing travel expenses, work permit costs and other expenses. There are also concerns that the scam may be used by human traffickers to find victims.
The Embassy pointed out that it is illegal to charge sponsorship fees and recruitment fees in the UK. It said that any job offer that requires the applicant to send money is likely to be both illegal and fake.
In addition, only highly-skilled workers are able to obtain UK visas under the new system. The position is arranged through a sponsorship system, and the jobseeker is not required to pay.
Filipinos seeking to work in the UK were urged to use the official route of personally filing their UK visa applications at the British Embassy in Manila.
The Philippines Embassy also warned both recruitment agencies and people looking for work in the UK to beware of offers using scanned, rather than original documents, as these can easily be forged by fraudsters.