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POEA warns public against bogus fruit-picking jobs in Australia

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has cautioned overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and Filipino tourists against a new online scam offering bogus fruit-picking jobs in Australia.

POEA administrator Hans Cacdac issued the warning after a website, Fruit Picking Australia (FPA), posted illegal jobs offers,

“Here is another illegal recruiter claiming it is affiliated with POEA. Do not be deceived,” Cacdac said in his Twitter account.

The website, which could be accessed via http://fruitpicking-australia.com.au/poea-work-abroad/, claimed it is a “site setup for backpackers and fruit pickers who are looking for job and accommodation information.”

It said interested applicants could temporarily work as a fruit picker in Australia by obtaining a Working Holiday visa at the Australian embassy.

“This type of visa is a temporary visa designed for young people who wish to (spend their) holiday and work in Australia,” FPA said.

It said candidates will be then required to register at the “POEA work abroad job” scheme.

“One POEA work abroad job that is popular among young casual travelers and backpackers is a job as a fruit or vegetable picker,” the site said.

“Because these jobs are seasonal; you can opt to stay in Australia for only a few months under a Working Holiday visa,” it added.

Cacdac clarified the FPA is not authorized by POEA to hire OFWs for deployment abroad.

The Australian-based FPA supposedly has 707 subscribers, while its Facebook account has 16,000 likes.

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