How to identify illegal recruiters or agencies

More and more Filipinos are looking for jobs overseas to improve their lives. They usually go to recruitment agencies for help in finding jobs. Unfortunately, there are some agencies that operate illegally and should be avoided at all cost. Illegal recruiters operate in different ways and you should always watch out for them. Here are some of the ways to identify if they are an illegal recruiter.

1. The job being offered by the foreign employer or recruitment agency does not have an existing job order from POEA.

2. The agency is not licensed with POEA.

3. Recruitment is done outside the office such as in restaurants, coffee shops, etc.

4. Very attractive and even unbelievable offer such as no experience required, no placement fees, no processing fees, etc.

5. The recruiter collects fees before you even have an employment contract with them.

6. Receipt is not given by the employer or agency when you pay.

7. Conducting seminars and guaranteeing employment for a fee.

8. Charges advanced or exorbitant fees for application forms, processing fees, placement fees, etc.

9. Placement fee exceeds 1 month of salary.

How to avoid

To avoid falling prey to illegal recruiters, make sure you:

1. Always check the validity of the license of the recruitment agency you are applying for. Refer to the “POEA accredited agencies” page to check. Also, agencies are issued stickers that must be posted so also look for these in the office.

2. Always make sure that the job offer is approved and has a job order from POEA (whether it is from a foreign employer or an agency).

3. Always conduct the application, payments and other activities with the recruiter inside the licensed office.

4. Only pay once you receive an employment contract and always ask for an official receipt whenever you pay.

5. Consult with fellow OFWs and POEA regarding the process you are undergoing and the fees you are paying.