We urge our classified users to take extra care and be vigilant with who they speak to online
3 October 2018| Last updated on 19 January 2020
Scammers are targeting classified ads seeking home help in the UAE, and one victim would like to warn others.
There's often reports of scams in Dubai, both on the streets and online, as individuals target residents to beg for money, or fraudulently pose as telecommunication services in the country.
Recently however, scammers have targeted classified ads - even our own Classifieds on ExpatWoman - and are posing as home help agencies, offering maids, nannies and drivers to unsuspecting residents.
As with any online activity, residents should be extra vigilant when discussing paid services with an individual they've met online. Classified users should never wire money or financial information to anyone on the Internet, and for their own security, transactions should be made in person.
Nonetheless, some scammers may fall through the cracks - particularly targeting residents who have posted seeking home help.
An ExpatWoman user, named Raakhee, is a recent victim of this behaviour online.
"I posted last week looking for a nanny. I then received a WhatsApp from someone claiming to be from a South Indian-based company, in Bangalore, who provide maids to the UAE.
"He then sent me CVs, pictures and passport copies of 6 candidates, and told me they would be arriving in the UAE on Friday, and would be available for interview on Saturday.
"He then asked for a processing fee of AED 1,600 to be transferred to his account in India."
Hiring a maid in Dubai and UAE
Many families in the UAE will use Classified listings to help in their search for a maid in Dubai, or other home help positions. As well as this, families seeking to employ home help can also approach a legitimate agency in the UAE to explore whether they would like to hire a live-in maid.
Alternatively, there are several cleaning companies in Dubai that offer maid services on an hourly rate - a popular option by expats who don't wish to hire a live-in domestic worker.
If you opt for a live-in, costs can arguably add up; with some agencies charging upwards of AED 15,000 to help recruit a maid and assist with their residency costs. Plus, hiring the right individual can be a timely task for families.
It's no wonder then, when you're approached by a company promising to make hiring easy, stress-free and at a cheaper rate, it's easy to assume it's the best option for you.
Raakhee continued, "to be honest, in hindsight, I should have thought about it more, but I needed a nanny as I work so in heist, I transferred the money to him.
"As soon as the money hit his account, his phone turned off and no one came for an interview. This is our hard earned money that he has scammed."
In an effort to warn other individuals seeking a maid and home help in Dubai, Raakhee has shared her experience to help prevent others falling prey of this scam too.