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Contacted via LinkedIn

A chance contact through LinkedIn led a seasoned seafarer to lose money on a fake job

Captain X is a seasoned seafarer but had worked for the same company for 29 years before becoming unemployed.

He was contacted out of the blue via LinkedIn by someone claiming to work for a legitimate maritime organisation. He was flattered to be approached and the job outlined to him seemed great – in fact, as he learned to his cost, it was too good to be true.

Captain X was offered the post of master of a container ship on a two-year contract with Vroon Offshore Services Ltd. The terms included a monthly salary of £12,550 (USD15,843), two months on/off, two months’ leave on full pay and a housing allowance.

The company is legitimate but had absolutely nothing to do with the recruitment. The job description, application form and subsequent contract had the companies’ logo and correct postal addresses but the fraudsters fake information and contact details.  There were anomalies in the paperwork though as the company phone number was wrong.

Captain X signed his contract in May 2020 and looked forward to starting his new career.  Then the requests for money started.

Captain X was emailed by someone claiming to be from the UK Immigration Service, asking him to pay £1,190 (USD1,500) for a UK National Insurance number, even though he would be working at sea, (This was a lie and in fact, you would never have to pay for this.) but Captain X transferred the money.

Shortly after, the same person contacted him again and said the NI number could not be processed until Captain X paid £2,400 (USD3,030) for the ‘British National Insurance Scheme’ (which doesn’t exist). He insisted that the payment should be made to Captain X himself using a UK address and the sender must be the captain’s next of kin or close friend. Captain X was told that once the NI number was released, he could immediately withdraw the funds, so ‘the money is all yours’. Alarmed, Captain X contacted his lawyer, who told him not to send the money. After investigating, the lawyer confirmed it was a fraud. The dream job didn’t exist.