SINGAPORE - Travel agencies are warning about scammers pretending to be employed by them and offering part-time marketing jobs for up to $200 per day.
On its website, Chan Brothers Travel warned its customers about this new scam, adding that scammers approach potential victims over text message or WhatsApp, and claiming that they represent the agency.
At least two other agencies, WTS Travel and CTC Travel, told The Straits Times they are aware of such messages involving scammers pretending to be their staff.
In messages seen by ST, these "jobs" offer up to $200 per day, claiming that no prior experience is needed as training will be provided.
Mr Jeremiah Wong, senior marketing communications manager for Chan Brothers Travel, said: "In all cases, our organisation will not send unsolicited text messages or WhatsApp messages from an overseas number dangling job offers.
"Our human resources department and all staff involved in hiring will always follow-up formally via their e-mail addresses in all correspondences with potential interviewees throughout the entire recruitment process."
None of the travel agencies are aware of any victims who have lost money to the scam as at June.
But Chan Brothers Travel has made a report on ScamShield, so that the phone numbers scammers are using can be blocked.
Ms Kelly Toh, marketing manager of CTC Travel, said the agency advertises its jobs on MyCareersFuture.sg
She added: "We do not engage third-party services for our recruitment. Most of our staff come from referrals or apply via legitimate job platforms."
A WTS Travel spokesman said while it is hiring marketing staff to boost its online presence, it will require candidates to send in resumes and will only contact those it has shortlisted.
Tourism experts said that the emergence of this new scam advertising marketing jobs comes as travel agencies prepare to handle more customers now that popular destinations such as Japan - which allows small tour groups - have reopened to tourists.
Since April 1, all fully vaccinated travellers can enter Singapore without quarantine,which has fuelled travel demand, said Mr Wong.
Dr Michael Chiam, a senior tourism lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said: "With an increase in the number of people travelling again, it is not unreasonable to assume that travel agents will need to rehire.
"This may be why scammers are taking advantage of the situation and targeting the local tour agencies and those who are looking for employment opportunities in this sector."
Mr Steven Ler, president of the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas), said: "Recruitment ads through messaging applications are unusual and should be verified. Travel agents typically recruit via legitimate online job portals, job fairs and recruitment agencies.
"Job seekers should always take precautionary measures when they receive dubious job offers or ones that may seem too good to be true so as not to be compromised in any way."