Bahraini lawyer falls victim to fake recruiting agency

Gulf News

Dubai: A Bahraini lawyer fell victim to a fake domestic workers’ recruitment agency, local media reported.

Taqi Hussein Taqi, a Bahraini lawyer, said his ordeal started with him unknowingly contacting a domestic workers hiring agency that neither had a commercial registration nor an office.

“My family members and I fell victim to this scam, but thanks to my professional experience, I managed to save myself [at least some of the money],” he told Al Ayam newspaper.

The ordeal began with his family members receiving an ad on Whatsapp about a woman who arranges domestic workers for 1,000 dinars. Customers were told to pay 500 dinars in advance and the rest after hiring the domestic help.

The advertisement seemed attractive to the family as other recruitment agencies charge about BD2,250 for bringing domestic workers and would take more than a month and a half to complete the deal.

Taqi said they contacted the woman who transferred their call to another person. “That person sent us a set of pictures for selecting. After selecting a worker, we transferred BD500 as demanded. The person told us that he had signed a contract with the father of the domestic worker and would reduce BD10 for each day for breaching the deadline for joining

“However, when checked, I found the contract had a different signature, and it came from a different WhatsApp number.”

Taqi said that it was clear he had falled victim to a scam, as “repeated calls made to the number went unanswered.”

“Further checking also revealed that the said agency neither had a commercial registration nor an office. We also found that they were using papers and photos of a registered domestic worker recruiting office, to which they had no connection.”

Taqi said the whole deal left his family with a loss of BD1,500.

“However, I kept on ringing the number, and on a day, I was able to reach the man. “I warned him that I would file a report with the Cybercrime Department for fraud and forgery if he fails to bring in the domestic help as agreed. Finally, when the domestic help came in, we realised that it was not the person we selected.

The worker was also not an Arabic speaker and a differently-abled person. “So, we contacted the person and asked him to bring the worker they had agreed, or process a refund. “Ours were a narrow escape,” the lawyer said, calling on all to take extreme care in situations like this and stay clear of such scammers.