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Re: ARA Recruitment Agency in Thailand
While I agree with Randolph and Pete that teachers should never send money for the promise of employment because schools generally pay all fees to a recruitment company, I would have to say the word "scam" or "fraud" may be too strong at this point until someone comes forward to say they have been cheated/scammed/defrauded. If a recruitment agency asks for a refundable deposit up-front from a teacher, this is not a scam or fraud per se...it is just a very stupid business plan in the face of an industry where 99% of their competitors don't ask for this.
Where the subject of a scam or fraud would come into play is if an agency (1) didn't disclose this deposit to a teacher till after they relocated for a position, (2) didn't return the deposit or (3) didn't deliver on the services promised. Again, if they want to charge a refundable security deposit from teachers, best of luck with that. Teachers are aware that this is not the norm and will just avoid them and work with agencies that don't have this very suspect requirement.
With regards to ARA Recruitment Agency specifically (or any recruitment company), if a teacher feels comfortable with paying a security deposit, I would recommend they first ask:
(1) to speak with other teachers directly who have used their service.
(2) for ARA Recruitment's physical address and Thailand Tax ID # or Company Registration # to show they are a 'legitimate' registered company authorized to do business in the country they are 'incorporated' in.
This is good advice for any teacher asked to make a refundable security deposit for the services of find a teaching position...but again, let me state that I HIGHLY recommend teachers to not send money to any agency or individual for the promise of securing employment.
Regardless, I decided it was best to not allow them to post any more available positions on Icon Group sites because there are too many uncertainties.