Comox, B.C. hospital used as bait by scam artists in Philippines

St. Joseph’s General Hospital, Comox

St. Joseph’s General Hospital was deployed as bait by Philippines-based scam artists trying to lure prospective temporary foreign workers into handing over hard earned cash, with promises of health care jobs at the Comox facility.

At least one out of about 10 people who contacted the Catholic care facility actually paid the equivalent of about $100 Cdn to a company claiming to be seeking registered nurse and care aides.

“Here we are in the relatively sleepy Comox Valley and who would have thought this is going on in another part of the world?” said Gillian Henderson, director of human resources at St. Joseph’s, whose name was used in the pitch to unsuspecting Filipinos. “Now they just target a hospital and away they go.”

The scam was discovered in early March as the hospital received about 10 calls and emails from potential workers eager to find out just how likely it would be for them to score one of the prized positions at the facility.

Related: Poll shows that the majority of British Columbians oppose the temporary foreign worker program: The majority of British Columbians dislike Canada’s temporary foreign worker program and would like to see it changed or abolished, according to an Insights West poll released May 13.

The online poll found that 53% of British Columbians oppose the program, while 34% said they supported it.

Only 4% would keep the program unchanged, while 22% said they would like to see it abolished and 60% said they would like to see the program continue, but under greater scrutiny.

British Columbians who voted for the BC Liberals in the last election were more likely to say they supported the program (45%), while only 23% of BC NDP voters said they were in favour of it.