ON THE DAY that another North Sea Oil business went to the wall former industry employees in Moray are warning of scammers seeking to take full advantage of local job seekers.
Following insideMoray’s story on Saturday exposing a scam that has been dropping into mailboxes around Moray and the North East since December, several readers have highlighted similar scams – and warn that care needs to be taken if oil and gas industry job hunters are not to end up further out of pocket.
We told how fake emails purporting to be from United Arab Emirates-based firm Bunduq Oil were being sent to people who had entered their details into online job search websites.
The genuine firm has already issued a statement making it clear that their name was being used in a scam – and reminding any job seekers that genuine companies would simply not seek payment from job seekers at any stage of an application.
Now one former offshore worker based in Buckie is warning of other scammers sending the same or similar scam emails. While wishing, understandably, to remain anonymous he told us: “It all seemed very convincing as I had registered my details with an online industry job search.
“Just 24 hours after doing so I received a request for more information from ‘Weir Oil and Gas’ confirming that they had my details and may have a suitable job in the UAE, quoting details that made it all look very convincing.
“I was guided through a process of providing more personal information and step-by-step through the entire exchange had no reason to doubt I was speaking to a genuine industry representative. I did, however, become alarmed when I was asked to provide bank details so that an ‘introduction payment’ could be transferred before finalising the deal.
“That’s when I did some checking and discovered I was not the only one that had been approached, and that several had paid up only to then find it was all a scam.”
Variations of the same scam have been recorded using names of a host of genuine companies – including Total Oil and Gas UK – all following the same pattern and all eventually asking for a payment and/or banking details.
A spokesman for Oil and Gas UK, who represent the offshore industry, said that they were aware of numerous scams including one that pretended to be from their own organisation, inviting people to ‘register’ with them in order to receive an official ‘Industry ID’.
“This advice is fraudulent,” the spokesman said, adding: “The UK Offshore industry does not require such an account and you should never send money to these websites. At Oil and Gas UK we are aware that there is an increase in the number of individuals being targeted as part of recruitment scams, largely from outside the United Kingdom.
“We take action whenever possible but the main advice we give is never to send money to anyone supposedly offering work in this manner, and never disclose any personal information until you are 100% certain on who you are dealing with.”
On Monday administrators started the task of seeing what could be saved from Aberdeen oil company First Oil.