Imposter sites of Philippine professional licensing body target overseas jobseekers

Imposter pages of the Philippine government's professional licensing agency have been offering purported teaching jobs in Thailand which they claimed paid monthly salaries above 100,000 pesos (1,700 dollars). These job offers bore the hallmarks of a scam.

"Calling All College Graduates. Thailand Is Hiring For Teachers," read part of a post shared on Facebook on May 5, 2024.

"Willing to start ASAP. No Placement Fee. Free Accomodation (sic) with allowance," it added.

About 10 million Filipinos work abroad, seeking high-paying jobs they are unable to find at home, and their remittances are a major pillar of the Philippine economy.

The post was shared by a page called "PRC News and Update" which used the initials of the Philippines' Professional Regulation Commission and bore the agency's logo.

It included a graphic that said holders of any degree -- even those without teaching licences -- can apply for the job which purportedly paid 116,700 pesos monthly.

The post also featured links that led to a page called "PRC Job Hiring 2024".

The page asked for contact details, cover letter, resume and the applicant's preferred interview date and time. 

Screenshot of the false Facebook post, captured June 6, 2024

Similar posts also shared the graphic on Facebook here and here including in a group with more than 300,000 followers.

Some social media users appeared to believe the job ad was genuine while others pointed out it was dubious.

"I can't proceed with the application. It's full of ads," one commented, attaching a screenshot of the application form.

"Been a teacher there and still have family and friends teaching [in Thailand]. Their salaries aren't as high as that," another said.

Imposter pages

The Professional Regulation Commission told AFP on June 7 that the "PRC News and Update" Facebook page did not belong to the agency.

An advisory on the agency's website listed other Facebook pages and websites that it said were misusing the agency's name and logo (archived link).

"PRC is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within these sites," it warned.

The agency advised the public to only rely on information posted on its official website and Facebook page (archived links here and here).

The PRC's official Facebook page has a verification badge and features a different header image.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the imposter Facebook page (left) and the verified PRC page (right): 

Screenshot comparison of the imposter page (left) and the verified PRC Facebook page (right)

Moreover, AFP did not find a firm called "PRC Job Hiring 2024" in the list of licensed recruitment agencies by the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) as of June 10 (archived link).

The DMW said jobseekers should not engage with firms without a licence as this was a sign they were illegally recruiting people (archived link).

Those that offered "too-good-to-be-true" salaries and other supposed perks such as "free accommodation" were also suspect, the department added.

Philippine fact-checking organisation Vera Files also debunked similar posts. 

AFP has previously fact-checked imposter government pages such as here, here and here.

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