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PIA Press Release
2008/08/05

Jobseekers warned vs scammers

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (5 August) -- Filipino workers who are especially eager to work abroad should be vigilant about job offers here or abroad.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito Roque has recently warned Filipino workers against accepting job locally or overseas from any individual or agency through the Internet.

Roque said that prior to the acceptance of such offers, the interested worker should first check the legitimacy of the job offers with concerned authorities.

The warning is being issued in view of a South African couple who were duped by unscrupulous individuals offering non-existent jobs in the Philippines through the Internet.

He pointed out that workers should be wary against individuals and agencies asking money allegedly for requirements that applicants should meet in connection with job offers.

Roque added that said offers are most likely non-existent and only being dangled by Internet scammers trying to extract money from unsuspecting and vulnerable jobseekers on the Net.

Citing a report from the DOLE office in Region 7 (Cebu), Roque said the South Africans, Errol Froman and his wife, were promised jobs as managers for a beach resort by a certain Franz Baumann and Alan Gonzaga whom they met through the Internet.

The resort named Sunset Garden and Dive Resort was purportedly located in Bgy. Libaong, Panglao Island in Bohol.

The DOLE Chief disclosed that Mr. Froman communicated with the Philippine Embassy in South Africa to inquire about the job offer only after sending money to Baumann and Gonzaga.

He said that after successive exchanges of e-mails, the Fromans sent US$350 to Baumann and Gonzaga as payments for their supposed work permits along with their scanned passports and birth certificates.

Afterwards, the couple no longer heard from the two nor received any correspondence relative to the status of their supposed employment and arrival to the Philippines.

Upon advice of Filipino officials in Pretoria, the DOLE-Region 7 looked into their records and found that no Alien Employment Permit has been issued to Franz Baumann. Further investigations also indicated that Panglao didn't have residents by the name of Franz Baumann and Alan Gonzaga.

The DOLE regional office also has no records of an establishment named Sunset Garden and Dive Resort in Bgy. Libaong. Nevertheless, the regional staff still checked on the said barangay and found that no such resort exists in the area.

It is obvious that the South African couple have been victimized by an Internet scam, Roque said as he urged the workers to verify first with the DOLE, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Philippine Embassies overseas any offer of employment they may receive through the Internet whether locally or in other countries.

He said the names of Baumann and Gonzaga could be fictitious and only created by an Internet scammer who could be the same person who victimized a certain Madeliene Oberhoster of Pretoria, South Africa using similar representations and modus operandi. (PIA) [top]

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