In the 2004 Seafarer's Bulletin, the International Transport Workers' Federation warn of a crewing agency scam preying on third world seafarers. Prospecting seafarers pay an upfront fee for positions that do not exist. This money was sent to an address in Canada.
ITF expands... "The authorities in at least two countries, Peru and the Philippines, have issued warnings about its fraudulent activities. Applicants are lured by letter, newspaper advertisements and a professional-looking website which says wages Of UP to LIS$38o a day are available in the offshore oil industry.
Among the other countries where Caledonian Offshore has conned money from jobseekers are Madagascar, St Lucia and Mexico. Over the past 12 months the ITF has issued warnings about four other job racketeers who charge seafarers for non-existent jobs: Sea Cruise Enterprises, Red Flower Cruise Line, Letus Fleet Recruitment Office and Al Najat Marine Shipping. The 1996 International Labour Organisation Convention 179 (Recruitment and Placement of Seafarers) says that governments must ensure that "no fees or other charges for recruitment or for providing employment to seafarers are borne directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by the seafarer".
The above story is a bit dated, but serve to remind us to please be vigilent and don't be fooled, no matter how exited or desperate you are.