Consumer Protection
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How to Protect Yourself: Overseas Job Firms
Source: Florida Attorney General's Office


People out of work and in need of a job are an easy target for unscrupulous overseas job firms. These companies advertise jobs in attractive overseas locations in classified ads listing an "800" number for you to call for more information. Upon calling the toll free number, a sales person describes the available jobs, salaries, and benefits. Before you decide to send an overseas job firm any money, please consider the following:

Be Wary Of Guarantees That Don't Ring True
Employment services can not guarantee you a job, they can only help you find one. If an overseas employment firm tells you the job is yours for the taking, and quotes a specific salary and benefits, the job probably does not exist. Overseas job scams are not bashful about what they promise to their victims--salaries in excess of $50,000 per year for general labor positions, benefits such as paid housing, medical and dental coverage, food and relocation expenses. In this case, ask yourself whether it is realistic that countries with high unemployment would allow such jobs to be given away to people other than their own citizens?

Read The Contract First
If the contract says something different from what the salesman told you, you may be held to the terms of the written contract. Do not believe a salesman who assures you that the contract contains "standard stuff we have to put in there," and "not to worry about it." The contract says what it says for a reason, and was written for the company and not for you. If you have already paid and have had a change of heart, read and follow the cancellation rights under the contract.

Find Out Who Is Required To Pay The Fee
You should be wary if the overseas job firm asks you to pay an advance fee before you get a job, especially if the company requests payment be made in the form of a money order or cashier's check. Most reputable employment agencies only charge you a fee once you have been placed, and even then, the new employer often pays the fee.

Wait Until You Make Any Moving Plans
Overseas job firms frequently tell their victims that they can start packing their bags, put their houses up for sale, or sell their cars just to make their claims seem more realistic. Do not begin to make any moving plans until you have heard from the employer--preferably in writing--that you have been accepted for the job.

Research The Companies
Contact the local office of the Attorney General and local consumer agencies in the county where the company is located to determine if there are complaints or legal actions pending against the company.