Employment scams in the GCC

Recently, there have been tons of threads on the forums where people are asking for advice on whether a company is genuine or not as they have been offered a job there.   This is in line with the proliferation of job scams targeting GCC especially as the world wide economy slows down - this makes tax free income in places like Dubai, Saudi etc much more attractive.

The second type of scam is targeting people who are already in the GCC.  This scam is primarily job offers from companies in the US, UK, Europe and Australasia.  It is playing on GCC expats need to move to a secure country where they can potentially get citizenship afterwards.

The purpose of this thread is to warn people about such scams and how to spot them.

How do these work?:

1) GCC: You can get an email from a company or a call for a fake interview.  Afterwards you get a job offer.  To confirm the offer, you have to send your documents to a travel agency and pay fees for visa / ticket.  They assure you that these fees will be refunded once you arrive.  Obviously, once you pay, that is the last you will hear from them
2) Elsewhere: You can get an email or a call for a fake interview.  They will ask you to prove that you have enough funds to support yourself during the stay in that country.  In the western countries, they will even have someone meet your friends or relatives to assure you before you have to transfer the money. Furthermore, the transfer will be in the form of a western union or similar transfer in YOUR name.  They comfort you saying that since it's in your name, the money is safe.  Once done, they ask you to send them the receipt of the transfer as proof.  The moment they get that, they use the tracking number to collect the funds and disappear
3) Any variation of the above.  The common denominator is that you have to physically send some money for any given reason

How to verify it is a scam?: 

It is a scam if they ask for ANY money for the job i.e. visa, ticket or any other fees for WHATEVER reason.  NO genuine employer or recruitment firm does this in the GCC or world wide.   

And then there is common sense and logic (put your excitement about a job offer aside and apply this) i.e.

1) Why would anyone offer you a job via email without rigorous interviews and assessments? 
2) Why would a legitimate organization; send a badly spelled and grammatically incorrect job offer email? 
3) Why would they use a personal email address like outlook.com and not their official email? 
4) Why would a travel agency or a third party process your work permit, when, only employers can sponsor the visas?
5) Fake references to laws which will be uncovered in a second with a google search e.g. "Expatriate Statuary Law of UAE", besides the bad spelling, there is no such law.  Google the exact term and multiple scam warnings come up!
6) Fake references to authorities in an official letter e.g. "UAE Visa Authorities".  The correct department is called General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs.  Or alternatively, real names of the Head of the visa section e.g. in the UK will be quoted (Why would the head of UK passports deal with your application?)
7) Proof of funds for any country in the world is through bank statements or similar items.  NOT A SINGLE AUTHORITY requires money to be wired to prove that you have it.  Think logically, once you send the money, you don't have it now do you?

Google these job offers and in most cases, you will find forums discussing this and / or official warnings from Government authorities e.g. UAE, UK, US.

Lastly, if you are a third world national i.e. not from the US, UK, Europe etc, be aware that there is NO way for you to get a work permit to work in these countries - definitely not through a random job offer out of the blue.  The ONLY genuine ways are, if a company with which you are already working, internally transfers you there OR you go through a legal skill based immigration route OR if you are studying there and manage to find a job after, in some cases.  This is because, in most of these countries, if they hire people from abroad, extra cost is incurred as well as the need for them to show evidence that people of similar skill set are not available in those countries - which there are in a majority of the cases (so if you are not an exceptionally skilled person with unique abilities, no chance for you).  There are very few exceptions e.g. H1B visa for US for IT professionals which is a nightmare to get nowadays.

Legal action: You will take legal action WHEN you have LOST the money.  And at that stage, who will you file the case against?  most of these people are not even based in those countries and are using fake addresses and emails.  And even if they are there, to pursue a case when you are not there will take much time and money from you.

The easiest way to avoid it is to use common sense and recognize this is a scam.  And walk away.  The reason these people are successful is that desperate job seekers are willing to believe anything while ignoring all warning signs. 

I have personally had job seekers get angry at me when I tell them that this is a scam.  However, a month or two down the road, they message me, saying that they are upset and have lost their money and wanting me to give advice to get it back.  By that time it is too late.

The simple version for those with lesser English skills

The first very clear warning sign is easy - You get a job you didn't apply for

The second is equally easy to spot - They ask you for cash

If if see either or both, it's a scam

I've been approached this week by an agency 'Global Careerz' who found my account on Naukrigulf. It's so difficult to tell how legitimate the approach is. They claim to act as the middle man between job seekers and top level companies, everything they have said on the phone and by email seems like they know the sector and know exactly what they're talking about.

Then they drop in that there is a one-off enrolment fee of $79. Which sends off all the alarms but, so far it really is the only red flag. I cannot find any feedback from the company at all really, good or bad.

drakey31 :

Then they drop in that there is a one-off enrolment fee of $79. Which sends off all the alarms but, so far it really is the only red flag. I cannot find any feedback from the company at all really, good or bad.

This is the ONLY red flag you need to consider.

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