Cruise Ship Job Scams

While the cruise industry has been booming over the last number of years, so has the evolvement of cruise ship job scams. In short, job seekers become prey to these scam artists that promise a job on a cruise ship after fees are paid. Although most cruise lines rely on cruise recruitment agencies to pre-screen and interview job seekers, how does one differentiate the legit agencies over the scammers?
 

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Cruise Lines Warn Against Fraudulent Cruise Job Offers

Hiring managers within the cruise industry are well aware that there are fraudulent entities around the world claiming to represent the cruise lines as recruitment partners. Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, and Crystal Cruises all advise job seekers visiting their employment pages, to be aware of such scams.

Cruise lines encourage applicants to use only the hiring partners listed on their website and warn against other companies or agencies that charge a fee. For example, Disney Cruise Line states on their website that they "do not allow these companies to collect administrative fees, agency fees, or processing fees from candidates applying for a position, or in order to obtain an interview, position or ship assignment aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship."

Royal Caribbean states on their website's employment pages, "It's important that you only apply for employment either through [the Royal Caribbean] website or through one of our official Hiring Partners." Royal Caribbean advises that the best way to protect yourself is to stay informed.


Recent Cruise Job Scams

Here is a list of some of the most recent job scams that have been identified by a few of the cruise lines.

Carnival Cruise Lines  (link goes to their legitimate website) alerts job seekers about fraudulent advertisements that are not endorsed by or affiliated with the cruise line. The ad scam provides a fax number and e-mail address where applicants can apply for a cruise ship job. Applicants are contacted by telephone and advised that they have been hired by Carnival Cruise Lines. They are then asked to wire money to cover the cost of a "uniform deposit" which is actually a payment to the scammer.


Royal Caribbean International
and their sister companies, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises alerts potential cruise job applicants about the following scam artists, websites and email addresses.

Click here for the Royal Caribbean International Blacklist.


Similarly, Crystal Cruises (link goes to their legitimate website) also warns applicants about companies making unauthorized offers of employment. They make clear on their website that offers for shipboard employment can be made only through the authorized agents listed on their website.  Here are a number of fictitious companies, people and email addresses that have been known to send bogus employment offers claiming to represent Crystal Cruises.  Click here for individuals and companies that have been brought to the attention of Crystal Cruises for shady or illegal business practices.  Click here for the Crystal Cruises Blacklist

 

Tips to Identify a Cruise Ship Job Scam

Although this is a fairly comprehensive list, it's nearly impossible to know about every type of cruise job scam. Unfortunately it's not until a few unknowing job seekers are separated from their money that someone finally reports them and the scammer can be added to the lists provided by the cruise lines. Here are some tips to help you avoid falling victim to a cruise ship job scam.
 

1.  If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.  How quick you get a cruise job depends on current available positions. So when someone or an agency says that you will get a job as soon as you send them payment, it should be a red flag that this is not right.

2.  Legitimate cruise recruitment agencies do not solicit money from applicants.  This is one of the biggest rules of thumb to understand if the agency is a scammer or not.  Hiring partners and other legit cruise recruitment agencies do not collect fees from applicants in order to be considered for a cruise job. Nor do they collect money in advance for uniforms and medical expenses.

3.  Legit cruise recruiters do not send emails offering a job before an application is filled out.  In some job scams, an initial email is sent by the fraudster offering a cruise job. Once the prospective crewmember responds to this email offer, they are asked to complete a job application. This phony job application seeks private background information about the prospective employee which will be used for criminal purposes.

4.  Cruise applicants do not need an immigration lawyer or a Green Card.  Scammers may give the applicant a phony “employment contract” or “letter of employment”. Then, in later correspondence, they expect the applicant to submit a copy of their passport plus $$$USD for the services of an immigration lawyer to process a work permit. This is not required or legal. Read Passports and Visas for Cruise Employment for more information on this.

5.  Websites of cruise ship job scams are unprofessional.  One of the biggest litmus tests is the website itself. Blatant spelling, grammatical errors, poor English and punctuation errors may indicate that the website and agency is not legitimate. Plus, is the website littered with Google ads? Are the photos used on the site grainy and outdated? These are all red flags.

6.  Understand which email accounts may be fraudulent.  You don't want to send your resume and personal information through an email account used by a scammer. To prevent yourself from making this mistake, beware of email addresses that end in Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL or any other web based, free, email account.

7.  Get familiar with the cruise lines' official hiring partners.  Many fraudulent cruise job scammers use a name or email address that is similar to the cruise lines. They even use the names of agencies that are similar to the real hiring partners. Pay attention to these details when you receive correspondence. Better yet, stick with the agencies and email addresses that are authorized by the cruise lines so you won't get into trouble.

The bottom line is this. Please use cruise recruitment agencies that are listed as authorized by the cruise lines themselves. Do not accept a job offer from an agency fraudulently representing a cruise line. And, only send your resume and personal information through a secure online application that mails to a legit email address.

--by Renee Ruggero

 

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