5 Seafarer Recruitment Scams You Need to be Aware of

Several reports from prominent marine research institutes suggest that sea is short of thousands of mariners, and this number is set to grow exponentially. The maritime industry is facing challenges with seafarer recruitment, and it seems like the situation will only get worse.

It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you are a skilled sailor, an ocean of opportunities await you. Literally. However, it has a downside. Because of the sheer abundance of jobs, many people are not very careful when hunting for a new opportunity.

It turns them into easy picking for fraudsters who prey on unsuspecting individuals. Employment scams have a reputation for inflicting significant damage to your image as well as bank balance. You obviously would not want a red flag hanging on your back, right?

Don’t worry. We have compiled a list of 5 scams which are used to dupe and exploit innocent mariners. Make sure you do not fall for any of them.

1. Fake Agency

There is nothing more unfortunate than coming across a promising recruitment agency that offers you the perfect job, only to later realize it was bogus. A “phony” agency often has everything to impersonate a real one –a website, contact numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.

Such websites also flaunt several lucrative jobs, not to mention an outstanding record of successful recruitments. On the flip side, you also need to stay careful with agencies that appear too guarded with box numbers, vague addresses, and no real contact info.

In either case, you should activate your ‘look-closely’ mode. Check the e-mail address and domain. If the company uses free mailing service (e.g.,Yahoo, Gmail, MSN, etc.), then it is not what it claims to be.

2. Pay for Job

Many scams try to rip people off their hard-earned money. Miscreants thrive on some people’s desperation to land a job. They typically promise a job after a one-time payment. This sum is usually demanded in the name of: –

  • Procedure
  • Admission Fee
  • Recruitment Fee
  • Air Fare
  • Visa
  • Work Permit
  • Security

… And so on. These agencies promise to return the money once the mariner gets the job. Unfortunately, that seldom happens.

According to the conventions of International Maritime Organization (IMO), you cannot be asked to pay for a job before you get it. A company which does not even know about it is likely to be fake.

3. Reveal it All

Another seafarer recruitment scam you need to watch out for is where your personal information is enquired at the beginning of the recruitment process. You could be asked for your sensitive info such as bank details (on the pretext of making payments at a later stage), and even passport and certificates.

It forms part of a very large-scale scam that aims at stealing your identity. Trust us – you DO NOT want to deal with the mess it can create. Not to forget the never-ending useless e-mails your inbox will get flooded with.

4. Phishing

This time, you receive an e-mail stating a company has clients with positions of your interest.To entice you, it might also feature a description of what appears to be a legitimate opening. However, there is no such vacancy.

You cannot directly apply for the job. Instead, you are directed towards a link on a website, where you are asked to provide your contact and other personal information. This is a text book phishing attempt where your information is sold to a third party and could be used for marketing purposes. Now you know how marketers get your details for the endless calls and e-mails!

5. Unemployment

Some scammers also target unemployed seafarers by promising to file their unemployment insurance claim for a certain fee. They might even claim to have a connection in your State Labor Department through which they can expedite your claim.

Unfortunately, there is no benefit of paying someone to file your claim. As a matter of fact, some states even prohibit anyone from accessing the unemployment system except the claimant. You should file your claim on your own via the official website or by phone. Using a paid service will not reduce the turnaround time.

These were some of the common seafarer recruitment scams which you need to protect yourself from. Remember, there is no better defense against such malpractices than prudence. We hope this post will assist you to steer clear of such scammers. Good luck with your search!

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