By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, March 5: Scammers offering lucrative job opportunities in foreign countries are often professionals and well-trained to dupe their victims.
Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah reminded those seeking employment opportunities in foreign countries to verify the job offers they encountered, especially one that is “too good to be true”.
She advised job seekers to gather enough information about the jobs they are pursuing, including details of the potential employers.
“Always verify the information. Research and discuss with your friends, families, contacts on the said offer.
“If need be, contact the respective Malaysian embassy or consulate to inquire about the authenticity of the company, place of work and job prospects.
“We must be aware that people involved in this job fraud and other scams are often well-trained to convince their potential victims,” she told reporters after closing the Sarawak Women and Family Department Self-Genius programme at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.
Explaining their standard operating procedure, Fatimah said scammers even had well-written scripts to fool or entice their victims.
“They know how to look for potential victims, who are often picked from among those who appear to be vulnerable due to their current life situation, such as those desperate for jobs, people who are lonely and those who are gullible.
“We must be aware of this, verify the information and discuss with others on offers that sounded too good to be true,” she highlighted.
Fatimah was commenting on the incident where eight Sarawakians were stranded in Monrovia, Liberia, since January this year after being duped by a job syndicate.
The victims, aged between 39 and 66, were stranded in the African nation without any money and managed to survive on rice given by Malaysians working with Sime Darby in Liberia.
The Foreign Ministry, through concerted diplomatic and consular efforts, successfully repatriated them. They flew home yesterday.
This is the second successful effort by the government following the recent release of 47 Malaysians from detention in Cambodia.
“It’s pretty much a straightforward case. There was no detention, but when we talk about seeking lucrative job opportunities in foreign countries, the trend has been going on for decades.
“The job opportunity in Liberia was no different. A company offered employment but when they reached there, the job was not available and the victims were stranded. They could not go back due to lack of funds,” Fatimah explained the situation.
When it comes to seeking jobs in foreign countries, she reminded that the red flag that one should be wary about, where high-paying jobs offered in certain sectors such as hospitality would normally be filled by locals with no shortage in takers.
Malaysians should factor this in when considering jobs in countries where the locals are seeking jobs elsewhere, she said. — DayakDaily