Nograles, Bello warn job seekers, employers against solicitation scam

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) – Two Cabinet officials have warned against an illegal solicitation scheme using their names to swindle job seekers not yet vaccinated against COVID-19.

Acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Monday said some individuals have been using his name and that of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III “to solicit an unauthorized medical bond or medical insurance.”

He said the ₱6,000 being solicited is claimed "to be part of recruitment and hiring procedure." The scammers have also been using the letterheads of the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force and the Department of Labor and Employment, he added.

According to Bello, a fake set of “Guidelines for Recruitment of Non-Vaccinated Applicants” is being circulated as part of the scam.

The Labor chief alerted both job seekers and private sector employers, as he stressed the DOLE and the IATF “never issued such ‘Guidelines.’”

“Authorities are already tracking those behind the fraud for flagrant violation of Philippine laws and preying on workers, especially in this time of the pandemic, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Nograles also urged anyone with information to report such fraudulent activity to 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Center.