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Relocation Expenses Scam

How the scam works:

In this tough economy, finding a job can be extremely difficult. When you receive a job offer, it can be very exciting. Even better, receiving a job offer to work in an exotic hotel or an oil company in a foreign country - such as Malaysia or Guinea Bissau - could be better luck than most people could imagine.

However, this could be a very sophisticated scam targeted to fleecing unemployed people who cannot afford to lose their money. In this employment scam, the victim will be contacted by a “human resources” executive for, in this instance, a luxury hotel seeking a chef (it could be anything from a design engineer to a foreman or oil executive); they will advise that they saw your resume listed on a job board. They send very legitimate looking documents, including an employment contract spelling out all the details of the position.

They will often call and do telephone interviews with the victim, using the name of the actual HR representative for the establishment. You see the Malaysian country code and check the Internet for that specific HR manager: he/she exists and you believe it! Everything sounds good, but of course, there’s a hitch. All they require for you to start working is a 50% “deposit” of your travel expenses, for which you will allegedly be reimbursed when you arrive and begin working.


Of course, once you arrive you discover that there is no job and the people at the hotel have never heard of you. You are effectively still unemployed and now out a lot of money as well.

This scam was reported to us by a Serbian chef who was just about to move to Malayisia, until he looked up online the number of the real HR manager at the hotel and he called her himself, using the number of the hotel. Indeed, the real manager confirmed she was not the one sending the fake contract. You can see the real paperwork the scammers used in this scam HERE.

How to avoid:

If you receive a job offer from anywhere you can’t conduct an in-person interview, do not take the caller at face value. Investigate the company yourself online, then call the online contact number and ask for the person who interviewed you to verify the veracity of the interviewer. Do not merely ask the caller for a contact number; they can give you any number to reach them and you have learned nothing. Never send money up front to travel somewhere for a job. Legitimate companies will foot the bill for your relocation expenses.

On the other hand, if you are really looking for a job and seek to make some money until you find the next ideal job, there a couple of options for employment online. They are trustworthy and have a great online reputation:

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