Even when the whole world is applauding our braveheart medical fraternity for their selfless and dedicated fight against COVID-19, there are a few fraudsters out there to cheat Doctors and Nurses through such sophisticated employment offers that sounds quite genuine.
Yesterday, one of our Specialist Obgyne Consultant Clients, a leading western qualified Doctor happened to share with us the enclosed offer. She was almost ready to proceed with sharing her details etc. with this fraud “hospital”, however, good senses prevailed upon her and she attempted visiting their website. Abu Khalid International Hospital website was found not working, she then decided to call the mobile number mentioned in the offer letter (+971-521-171-096). Sure enough, the “Hospital” informed her that the site was under maintenance and their IT team were updating latest instructions received from the DHA towards COVID-19 and it shall start working soon.
The good doctor then took the second correct step, she contacted us to find out about the employer. She was horrified to learn that there is no such hospital in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE. We told her this is fraud and totally fabricated offer letter and advised her to immediately report the matter to the concerned authorities. The four-page offer letter is shared here for everyone’s benefit, we have masked the name, reference number and the date to protect the identity of our client.
We would like to advise all Gulf-Job-aspirants, especially Clinicians who are based outside of the UAE, to be extremely careful about such employment frauds. Always double-check before taking any steps or proceeding with paying even a single Dirham. You may verify the employer’s antecedents directly from your Embassy in the UAE, or the UAE Embassy in your country, or the respective health authorities in the UAE, such as the Ministry of Health UAE (MOH), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (DOH) or Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC). You can always write to us as well, we do not charge for such employer background checks.
How to Detect Such Frauds?
While it is not a crime to consider oneself as the most-suited candidate for a position, it pays to remember, finding any employment, let alone a high paying one, has never been easy for anyone. This is true, irrespective of one’s seniority, experience or the license eligibility. There is a lot of competition for every single valid job opening during these days, employers are routinely flooded with a very high job-to-applicant ratio of anywhere between 01: 100 to 01:1000 or even worse.
On top of it, in the top 5%-10% of the applicant list, every candidate is abundantly qualified and the employers go an extra mile to find the absolute fit. So, until you have gone through the entire pain-process, that starts with making a proper application, followed with screening & shortlisting by the employer or the agency, and then preliminary-secondary-final interviews which must include at least a final face-to-face interview with the senior management (even via skype or zoom), and then a detailed package negotiation has taken place with the HR or via the recruitment agency, you should never expect to receive an employment offer, and yet, thanks to such instances, some of you might land an unexpected too-good-to-be-true offer… in all such cases, rest assured – it is a Fraud.
We understand the state of the mind of anyone who’s out of work. There are pressures from all sides, and there is a very strong urge to join the next job, ignoring any job-offer might seem suicidal, but this is precisely the state of your mind, these fraudsters want to capitalize on. Do not let your emotions get better of your reasoning, always act logically, seek help if you are undecided, there is no shame in seeking a second opinion, being safe is always better than being sorry – as this doctor did.
Other Tell-Tale Signs
Although fraudsters and criminals always tend to get better in their acts with the passage of time, yet, there is nothing called a perfect crime, every thief leaves a trail and misses out on at least one or more variable that gives away his act… here are some of the normally found chinks in their armour :
- Error riddled language: These conmen usually do not have a command over professional English language and their communication is usually riddled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. One can easily make it out from a genuine HR / Corporate communication.
- Overemphasis on establishing of the credentials or the Trust Factor: Yes, please refer to the 4th page of the enclosed offer letter, you will see few Stamps and Seals – like Ministry of Interior etc, there is also a bright red – Apostille / Credentialling seal. All these are ploys to gain the candidate’s trust. No employer needs to do this or will do anything like this in their right mind. These stamps and seals are used for authenticating a candidates educational certificates and documents or documents pertaining to court etc.
- Usage of Mobile numbers instead of land phones or fixed lines: This is a straight giveaway – can you imagine a Hospital running without a fixed-line or land-phone? Although it is fine to have several Mobile Phone Numbers for the benefit of patients etc, no HRM would readily share his/her mobile number. So, if the offer letter does not mention the land-phone, please demand it and ensure you call back the person and speak on his or her land phone number. Please remember, fixed-line phones or fax numbers are issued by the telecom service provider (Etisalat or DU) only after due diligence of the physical address and is always traceable. Applicants staying outside of the UAE will do well to learn UAE’s land phone series
- Abu-Dhabi +971-02-xxx-xxxx
- Al-Ain +971-03-xxx-xxxx
- Dubai +971-04-xxx-xxxx
- Sharjah / Ajman / UAQ +971-06-xxx-xxxx
- Ras-Al-Khaimah +971-07-xxx-xxxx
- Fujairah _971-09-xxx-xxxx.
- Whereas the mobile phone number series start with “5” after the country code – like +971-50-xxx-xxxx, or +971-55-xxx-xxxx etc.
- Website: While a professional website is usually a trustworthy source of information, and yet this in itself is not a guarantee. Professional fraudsters are able to create mirror websites of existing & genuine hospitals and use their credentials too. For those who are not so internet savvy, it becomes extremely difficult to detect such fraud. There have been several such cases in UAE itself and we have previously reported too. One of the several ways of detecting the genuinity of any website is – if it uses an Https:// extension, the ‘s‘ in the end denotes an internet security certificate that has verified the website’s ownership details before issuing the certificate. Although it is not to say that those who use only Http:// are crooks, yet 99% of the time – a fraudster will not dare to use an Https:// extension, because it would give away their identity.
- Existence of a Travel Agency’s Detail in the offer letter: Now refer to the last page of the offer letter posted here, you will find the mention of a Travel Agency’s details too, this is absolute give away of fraudulent intentions. There are no reasons any Hospital will want you to send details to a travel agency. These fraudsters will make you pay certain amounts towards fabricated expense heads to this travel agency in the due course… So be very careful and stop the interactions immediately.