THE Bureau of Immigration has warned the public against illegal recruiters on social media who try to lure Filipinos into working overseas.

“They should avoid transacting with strangers online offering high-paying jobs in foreign lands without the benefit of protection from the government,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime H. Morente said in a statement. “You will only be putting yourselves in harm’s way.”

The bureau said a number of victims recruited on social media had been barred at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Four women bound for Singapore and Malaysia as tourists but were recruited to work as household workers in Dubai were intercepted on Nov. 9 and 10, it said. All admitted that they had met their recruiters through Facebook, said Ma. Timotea Barizo, head of the bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit.

Their visas and employment papers were processed in the United Arab Emirates, she added.

“Do not deal with unlicensed recruiters as they cannot guarantee your safety, good working conditions, and salaries according to industry standards,” Mr. Morente said.

“Chances are you will be intercepted at our ports if you avail yourself of the services of fraudsters and illegal recruiters,” he added.

He said overseas job seekers may access the website of the Philippine Employment Overseas Administration or visit their office for legitimate job openings and avail themselves of the services of accredited recruitment agencies. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas