Job seekers – be careful of getting scammed by fake and unscrupulous recruiting agencies in Kuwait. Sometimes scammers will pose as recruiters for well known multinational companies in Kuwait, asking for small payments from job seekers in exchange for a job. Other times, recruiters may solicit fees from would-be employees to ‘process’ the application and say that these fees are only a deposit – but one that is never returned.

Richard is a victim of the latter. He found a recruiting agency that has branches in Hawally, Salmiya and Kuwait City.
“I was looking for a job and I saw the ad of this office on Facebook. I contacted them and they asked me to come over to their office in Hawally for an interview along with my documents. So I went there, submitted my CV, filled up the application form and was interviewed by the staff,” Richard told Kuwait Times.

The office was crowded with other applicants. “They told me they will take my first salary if they find a job for me, and I agreed. On top of this, they demanded I pay a deposit of KD 20, which according to them would be refunded when I find a job. They even gave me a receipt,” he said.

But the agency didn’t find him a job. “Two weeks later, I found a job by myself. The recruiting agency never called me, so I went there to get back my KD 20. They told me to come back the next day. I went there again the next day and they asked me for the receipt. The employee went inside and came back saying the accountant is not available and told me to return tomorrow. He didn’t give me back the receipt. I visited the agency more than five times to get my money back, but without any result,” Richard said.

“Finally, they told me I will never get my money back. I couldn’t complain at the police station as they had taken the receipt, but I want to stop them from scamming poor people. Every time I went there, I met other victims who were also there to get their deposits back, but were not successful despite coming repeatedly. I’m sure they made a huge amount out of scamming people, as the number of my application was above 4,000,” he lamented.

An inspector of the consumer protection department of the ministry of commerce and industry noted that in order to file a complaint at the department, the victims should have a contract or it should be written on the receipt that the KD 20 they paid is refundable. “They have to prove they paid the amount and that the company assured this payment is refundable. Otherwise, they can’t complain at our department. But they can report the matter at the police station or file a case in court,” said the inspector.

A piece of advice: Always check what’s written on the invoice before paying, and never let the receipt leave your possession unless you’ve been repaid the amount.

By Nawara Fattahova