Ms Y wanted to change sectors and, inspired by seafarer friends, decided on the maritime industry
Having decided on a change of career Ms Y was surprised to receive an email from LinkedIn to her work address with what looked like a great opportunity. The job on offer was as a reservation agent with Maritime Transport Ltd, working from home, with a tax-free monthly salary of EUR3,962 (USD4,471) and a monthly ‘feeding’ allowance of EUR1,081 (USD1,220).
Ms Y responded to the unsolicited email and the documentation she received all look legitimate. A Google search by Ms Y reassured her, though, as it confirmed that all the names appearing on her correspondence belonged to genuine employees of the company. She didn’t know that the fraudsters had simply set up fake email addresses and telephone numbers.
Ms Y was asked to pay EUR399 (USD450) for a permit to work from home. She felt uneasy because it had to be paid via Western Union to an officer in Guinea but was assured by her contact that banks were working differently because of the coronavirus pandemic. She paid the money and received the permit – a certificate issued by the International Maritime Labour Union. She couldn’t find it on Google and then came a second request for a permit fee.
She contacted the ITF’s Job Scam helpline – firstname.lastname@example.org – for advice and quickly received confirmation that the whole thing was a scam.
Ms Y’s advice to others looking for a job in maritime? “I learnt to be more cautious and double check things and I would not pay something like this again, especially not via Western Union and to an unknown individual.”