Jobseekers on visit visa fall victim to scam in Dubai

The company's manager fled the country just days before the complaint was filed


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Sep 22: Police on Patrol on one of the road in Bur Dubai. (Pawan Singh / The National) *** Local Caption ***  PS004- POLICE.jpgPS004- POLICE.jpg

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Dubai Police are investigating a recruitment scam after many vulnerable jobseekers were conned out of money.

Sixty people, who came to the UAE on visit visas, were looking for jobs and paid the scammer money. But when nothing happened after a month, they registered a complaint at the Al Muraqqabat Police Station last week.

“The victims were lured by an online advertisement offering fake job opportunities at a security company,” said Brig Ali Ghanem, director of Al Muraqqabat Police Station.

The advertisement said no qualifications or experience were required and applicants chosen for the job would have to go on training courses.

Applicants were promised Dh2,200 salaries for security guard jobs and Dh4,000 for a supervisory role.

The victims were asked to open files at the hiring agency's office in Deira. “Those who were applying for guard jobs were asked to pay Dh1,800 in fees and Dh3,000 if they were applying for supervisor jobs,” Brig Ghanem said.

After nearly a month, the jobseekers visited the office of the recruitment company but found it was closed.

“Investigations revealed that the company was opened few months before the incident happened and had not completed its licensing procedures,” Brig Ghanem said.

“When police investigators headed to the company as part of the investigations, they discovered the owner had fled the country three days before any report was filed against him.”

Several employees at the company were questioned but they were unaware of the plot.

The senior officer urged jobseekers to ensure that recruiting companies they approach are licensed. “Agencies charging fees for recruitment should alert jobseekers that something is not right,” he said.

Authorities in the UAE have repeatedly advised jobseekers to steer clear of recruiters who ask for cash or payment in personal bank accounts.

Consular officials and lawyers urged people to verify companies online before interviews.

They also urged jobseekers to ask questions, including about the company's trade licence.

In September 2020, Dubai Police arrested fake recruiters who exploited 150 people.

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Updated: January 19, 2022, 10:03 AM