*** ----> Bahraini man duped as UK job offer hides BTA phishing trap | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahraini man duped as UK job offer hides BTA phishing trap

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Report by Mahir Haneef

Remember the romance scams in which your online ‘girlfriend’ says she’s stuck at the airport on the way to visit you as the authorities are demanding proof of ‘basic travel allowance’ or ‘BTA’?

While the BTA romance scam’s ability to dupe withered away with warnings appearing in government websites and online forums, it is now back in another form: rather than luring people desperate to find a girlfriend, the scam is now targeting job seekers.

A 53-year-old Bahraini man, who holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and much experience, was recently a victim of a BTA scam in the UK.

He shared the details of the scam with The Daily Tribune to warn others in Bahrain about it.

Let’s call him the Good Samaritan, or G.S. in short.

How it happened ?

GS was first contacted by a company said to be engaged in the extraction of crude petroleum and was based in Aberdeenshire in Scotland.

The person in the email said he got GS’s resume from a popular online job recruitment platform and GS was offered the position of International Marketing Manager to be based in Scotland at a monthly pay of around BHD 4000.

The company has an active status as per the UK government’s website and GS had contacted the company at the landline number listed in the company’s website to make sure that such a vacancy exists, GS said.

Following an online interview, GS was emailed an offer letter and was asked to move to the UK by March.

He would be assisted by another agency specializing in immigration services, GS was told over email.

‘Immigration requirements’

Emails were exchanged between the immigration services company and GS in which the ‘immigration requirements’ to reach the UK were laid out.

The conditions included the need to deposit GBP 750 (BHD 355) in GS’s own name with a money transfer company headquartered in Dallas, Texas but has operations in the UK.

The money can only be collected by GS after landing in the UK and upon presenting his passport, he was told.

‘Bahrain Connection’

The money transfer company partners with a leading money transfer company in Bahrain for its operations in the Kingdom and GS went to the latter’s office.

GS was allegedly assured that only he can get the money upon presenting himself in person at the UK office of the money transfer company along with his passport.

Assured by this promise, GS sent GBP 750 in his name so as to ‘show proof’ for living expenses in the UK, a.k.a. ‘BTA’, as part of the ‘immigration requirements’ stated by the immigration services company.


While GS was still in Bahrain, somebody collected the GBP 750 from the money transfer company’s office by posing as GS.

His dreams of a good job shattered and his money lost, GS is now demanding the two money transfer companies to return his money.

Secure Money Transfer?

How can the money transfer companies disburse money to somebody else when the requirement is that the person who sent the money should visit the office and present the original passport, GS asks, amid continuous followups with the money transfer companies to get his hard-earned money back.

He has also filed a complaint to the Central Bank of Bahrain and the UK government reporting it as a phishing scam involving the money transfer companies.