Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

We were also scammed, say 24 Filipino migrants in HK and ME

25 October 2023

Still photo from a video that lured the 24 OFWs to pay for their Norwegian dream 

Hot on the heels of the alleged student visa scam to Canada perpetrated on a group of Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong, another group of Filipino migrants has come forward, claiming to have been duped into paying hard-earned money for non-existent jobs in Norway.

Of the 24 complainants, five are working in Hong Kong and the rest, in Dubai, Arab Emirates, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. They all have receipts showing they each paid around 7,000 AEB or HK16,000 to Dubai-based Insider Migration Services (IMS) FZCO, for a total of HK384,000 or Php2.76 million.

Most of the complainants said they saw a Facebook post by IMS sometime in August last year which said the company, which is operating on a trade license issued by Dubai, could send Filipino housekeepers to Norway.

Pindutin para sa detalye

One of the Hong Kong applicants, Ana, said she contacted the number indicated in the Facebook advertisement and sent her CV as instructed. The very next day, she received an email from an IMS "consultant,"  Kathlyn Marcos, stating that her documents had already been forwarded to Norway and that their associates would liaise with employers there to secure her a post as a housekeeping attendant.

To initiate the supposed job-matching, Ana paid the 7000 AEB fee through Western Union to the general manager of IMS, Khalid Walid Almafouhd Naser, on September 25 last year. Naser allegedly assured her she could expect to be deployed to Norway after four to six months.

For the next eight months however, Ana said she was never interviewed by any potential employers in Norway and worse, IMS staff stopped responding to her emails.


On May 26 this year she followed up her application with the company, and instead of apologizing for or explaining the delay to her, she was warned that legal action would be taken against anyone who smeared the company’s name on social media.

On May 31, Ana tried to ask for a refund as she reportedly discovered that the job order sent to her by IMS was illegal as it had been altered.  However she was told that this was not possible as her documents had already been sent to an employer. The “Processing Department” of IMS also denied that the email sent to her had been edited. She could back out, but would not get her money back.

The next month, Ana sought help from the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong to try and get her money back from IMS and those who claimed to be its staff, particularly Naser and Marcos. She also asked for help in getting those responsible for swindling her punished in accordance with law.


Interviewed by The SUN, Ana said she and her fellow victims managed to hear of each other by chance. An email sent to them by IMS to celebrate an important Arab event was at the top of a thread where they were all asking about the jobs promised them in Norway.

Ni isa po walang na interview,” Ana said (Not one of us got an interview with an employer). One year nang mahigit.” (It’s been more than a year already).

She added all of them tried all avenues to get their complaints heard, but ended up facing a blank wall each time.

Pindutin dito

Those who are in Dubai have sought help from the police, but were told that what they were complaining about was a trade dispute, and not a criminal matter, so they had no jurisdiction.

Ana and all those outside of the Emirates also tried to file a claim online with Dubai authorities, but were told they needed to be residents there to be heard.

As a last resort, the complainants are looking at the Philippine government to help raise the matter with UAE authorities so they could get relief.

Asked about their plea, Assistant Labor Attache Antonio Villafuerte said the Migrant Workers Office has already endorsed their case to the Department of Migrant Workers in the Philippines, but said the victims in Dubai should also go to the MWO there to ask for help and get their claims authenticated.

At the very least, Villafuerte said the DMW should know about what happened to them so it can immediately send out a warning to prevent other Filipino workers falling into the same trap.

Norway has a small number of job openings for Filipinos, but they are mostly coursed through employment agencies registered with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, which is now under DMW.

To be safe, Philippine authorities always advise Filipinos to apply for overseas jobs from the country, instead of doing “cross country” migration, or from another overseas destination, to protect them from unscrupulous agents.

Despite the advice, many Filipinos abroad still prefer to go to a third destination without going back to the country first, so as to avoid the long wait and the crippling expenses that often go with securing a better job elsewhere.

But as these complainants and many others who are clamoring for help now because they had been tricked into paying huge sums for non-existent jobs or opportunities, taking more caution and doing more research can go a long way toward avoiding many months, even years, of heartache and burst hopes.


Don't Miss