Dear Mr. Offshore: prepaying for a work visa and other scams

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    Dear Mr. Offshore,

    I got a job offer in Malaysia the Sarawak project but the embesy doing my visa has a yahoo address and i must pay 850 US for the work permit and visa plus it must be paid in a private account.  Compony Haliburton oil & gas. Everything looks right the letter of agreement has a ref. Num and al those.  It would be apreciated if you can be of some assistance seeing that this is new to me!

    – Diver, via FaceBook Mobile

     

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.  Never — ever — prepay for a work visa.  The company should pay for all that.

    Also, do not send money to someone with a non-company  email account, such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.  Even a company with a slick web site does not mean it is legit.  Confirm web sites by looking them up on the ADCI and IMCA web sites.  Call the phone number listed on the web site and ask for someone in Human Resources.  Tell them that you are in discussions with someone claiming to represent the company and that you want to verify that the particular individual is a current employee of the company who is either in operations or in human resources and has authority to hire you.

    The biggest clue that this is a problematic situation is that they are asking you to send money to a private account.  Never give out your credit card or personal banking information to a prospective employer over the phone.  (Why would an employer want your credit card information, anyway?!?!)

    If you do sign on with a dive company, the clearest sign that a job offer is legit will be when you show up to the airport to fly to work and your ticket has already been paid for.

    I have asked Adam and Nathan of cdiver if they could start a list of the known scammers in the industry.  This may help you keep your money in your pocket.  I assume they will put it in the forum section.

    Good luck and stay safe.

    Mr. O

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