I have a little recruitment business where I introduce backpackers to Strawberry farms and accommodation in South East Queensland.
Yesterday I placed an English guy in a farm who also went looking in Toowoomba for the address of the farm and of course when he got there he realised he had been ripped off. Two weeks ago I placed a young French girl who paid someone, on Gumtree, for accommodation ($200) and who had promised her a job in Perth picking grapes. She had also bought a ticket to Perth from Sydney. Luckily the airline changed it for a fee. Three months ago I placed a Japanese girl who had, again on a Gumtree ad, paid $70 to secure accommodation for a ‘Apple Pickers in Stanthorpe’ ad. Of course, same story, as soon as the money is paid the emails go unanswered and money disappears.
DO NOT PAY ANYONE ON THE INTERNET TO SECURE WORK OR ACCOMMODATION
I place workers into accommodation but I do this face to face and give the person a receipt. If this is a bona fide placement for work and accommodation it should be done in person and you should be taken by that person to the place of accommodation.
Gumtree should be taking more action to stop these scammers using this site. I don’t think they are strict enough in checking their adverts. A lot of good sites, Fruit Picking Jobs and Working Holiday Jobs, will delay the release of the advert by a few hours to check that the post is a valid request for workers however Gumtree doesn’t and in the day or so it takes them to realise the scam and delete the ad there are a bunch of desperate backpackers who have paid money in the anticipation of a job.