Sun | Oct 17, 2021

Canada con - Overseas employment scam catches Clarendon woman

Published:Friday | May 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM

A Clarendon woman was swindled out of more than $30,000 last week after making payment to a man who pretended to be an employee of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and who promised to get her on the Canadian Farm Work Programme.

The woman told The Sunday Gleaner that she received a text in mid-April from a number she did not recognise urging a Ms Stewart to send over the list of names for the individuals she wanted to be processed for the Farm Work Programme. The text said that persons were needed to work on farms, in hotels, on construction sites, and as caregivers.

"I see the text come in and I said, 'How comes I am getting a text like this; but it sounds interesting, so I am going to find out some more information'," the woman said.

According to the woman, she called the number and initially got no response but then later got a text with a man's name and a promise that he would call her after 5 p.m.

The man later called and told her he worked at the labour ministry and was assisting a friend to meet his quota for persons to go on the overseas employment programme. The man told her he could add only her and another friend.

"When I was at work, he called me and said to me that I need to pay $28,000 for the petition fee, including my medical and my J1 visa," she said. "He asked me which country I want to go, and I said Canada. He said the programme is going to be for nine months."

She was then instructed to take a photocopy of her passport, four passport-size photos, proof of her qualifications, and the money for the petition.

"He told me that when I come, I must come at the Ministry of Labour, but I mustn't stand with the crowd because I don't have my petition with me, and he has asked someone to look after the petition, so when I reach there, he would give it to me," said the woman, who was also asked to give a description of the outfit she would be wearing.




She said a friend took her to the ministry's East Street office and she enquired from a security guard if there was someone working there by the name the man had given her, and the security guard said yes. A few minutes later, she was approached by a man, who introduced himself as the individual with whom she had been communicating.

He told her that he had forgotten to ask her for a police record but that he would take her to a place where she could get it done, and this would cost $6,000. He then called someone to take them to collect the petition and to get the police record.

The woman said she gave the man $6,000 for the police record along with the agreed $28,000 for the petition.

"We drove around until I asked where I was. He stopped in a plaza and said he is going to pick up the application and come back. Then he called me on my phone and said that I should bring my ID and walk exactly where he walked, but when I went, there was no one. So I went back by the car and the car was gone," said the woman, who is not familiar with Kingston

"That's when I realised, I was scammed," she said.