Nine Filipino women who were offered non-existent jobs in Dubai were rescued from illegal recruiters in Iraq.

The women headed to Dubai after they were offered jobs there through social media. However, when they arrived, they were told that there were no jobs for them – but there were job openings in Iraq, GMA News reported.

Foreign Affairs assistant secretary Elmer Cato said the women entered Iraq illegally as they did not have any visas and the deployment ban to Iraq is still in effect.

Cato said the women were told they needed to pay US$3,000 for them to be allowed to go home.

The Philippine Embassy in Baghdad rescued the women, who were victims of illegal recruiters and human traffickers, and officials are working to get them sent them back to the Philippines.

The embassy is also coordinating with Philippine authorities in regard to investigating the people who recruited them.

The Department of Foreign Affairs reminded the public that people who are interested in working overseas should apply only with recruitment agencies accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.