DOLE to OFWs: Be vigilant of fraudulent websites offering jobs abroad

A May 25, 2012 press release from the Department of Labor and Employment

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) warned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be wary of websites claiming to be affiliated with the official website of the government of Canada.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said this yesterday. She cited a report of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) which highlighted the website scam operations of unscrupulous individuals or groups who are allegedly charging fees in exchange for high paying yet, non-existent jobs and immigration deals to those hopeful migrant workers bound to Canada.

“We want our OFWs to be vigilant against illegal and predatory overseas employment operations. They themselves should become their own lookout during their job hunting to avoid falling victims,” Baldoz said.

Baldoz said the report exposes fraudulent website operators use the Canada woodmark or Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) logo without legal permission to target individuals.

The report clarifies that immigration consultants, lawyers, Quebec notaries, and paralegals regulated by a law society are the only authorized entities who may charge fees to job seekers.

The Labor and Employment chief thanked the DFA, particularly Office of American Affairs Assistant Secretary Patricia Ann Paez for the Department’s efforts in intensifying the warning to ensure OFW protection and welfare.

In the 2011 report of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the country has deployed an increased 15,658 documented OFWs in 2011 compared to the 13,885 workers in 2010.

Baldoz urged OFWs intending to go to Canada for employment to go through the proper processes of the DFA.

“As recruitment scams proliferate, jobseekers should be watchful and should guard themselves against too-good-to-be-true offers that might merely lead them to the path of those who have victimized by scammers,” Baldoz said.

The protection and welfare of OFWs finds primary importance in the 22-point labor and employment agenda of President Benigno S. Aquino III, particularly the need to “review the continued deployment of workers to countries, which are high- and medium-risk areas, as well as the continued deployment of workers in high-risk occupations.”