Job recruitment fraudsters
Fraudulent reports surrounding recruitments have been on the rise, mostly catalyzed by the ballooning unemployment rates in the country. A number of seasoned employees with years of experience have also fallen into the trap with promises of greener pastures, location transfers, and better pay.
More recently, a close friend, seeking a career change, got a reliable lead from her cousin about a senior vacant position in finance. The job had checked all her requirements: better pay in a parastatal, senior position, favourable conditions, etc.
Elated, she shared her CV to the referred email address and got instant feedback from a gentleman alleging to be from the hiring team. Courteously, he informed her that the vacancy had been filled and her CV would be saved for any future opportunity that might arise.
The following morning, the chivalrous gentleman called again. This time explaining that the person who had filled up the role did not meet the mandatory requirements. He added that they considered her application and she was required to share all her documentation.
Among the required statutory requirements were clearance certificates from Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID), Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) and the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).
The gentleman further affirmed the need to submit the documents soonest, creating a sudden urgency to a visibly exhilarated lady. It was her defining moment. The gentleman was kind to share the contact of a Huduma Centre personnel who would facilitate the process of getting the documents. How thoughtful!
Armed with an instinctive mind and a knack to spot conmen, or so she thought, she contacted the Huduma Centre lead, vowing not to send any money prior to getting the job. She didn’t have to as she was only asked to pay the statutory fees as advertised on the website.
To cut the long story short, after a series of phone conversations and transactions that lasted two days, she realized that she had been swindled of Ksh.25, 000. The amount could have been more had she not figured it out in good time since they were still requesting her for additional cash. She had been told that the money she had submitted was not enough to facilitate the seating panel to secure her the job. Other candidates had sent more. ‘Other Candidates!’
Due to the high unemployment rate leading to desperation among Kenyans, many job seekers who might be our families, friends or neighbors are finding themselves in situations of vulnerability to being swindled. The following are some examples of the notable scams used:
- The recruiters indicate a much higher pay than the standard salary for the type of position for which they are recruiting, a bid to induce the target to part with a small upfront payment. If the victim makes the payment, the scam artist either invents a series of additional fees for the victims or simply disappears.
- Fraudsters will charge fees before employment with the assurance of employment at the end. You will pay money but, in the end, you will not get the job.
- The recruiter’s email address is not a corporate one and contains the domain @live.com or @gmail.com or @yahoomail.com.
- This information is mostly circulated on social media, especially on WhatsApp groups to trap the vulnerable and fish them out for the scheme.
- The job advert includes numerous mistakes in grammar and punctuation.
- Emphasis is laid on the amount of money that is to be earned and not on the duties and responsibilities of the job.
How to avoid scams
- Exercise discretion and independent judgment when applying for jobs.
- Do not just submit your CVs or register online with any so-called recruitment agency.
- If a company or organization is mentioned in an ad or interview, contact the company to find out if it really is hiring through the service.
- Confirm the details of a job posting with the hiring company by cross-referencing the open positions on the company’s official website (this is typically easy to determine from the company’s website, or contact the organization directly on phone).
- Do not send money upfront! Legitimate employers don’t request money to hire you or to get you started.
- When you notice a scam, always share the information with authorities and the company that has been mentioned so that they may deal with it and so that no one else who might be vulnerable falls prey.
- Think Twice: If it sounds too good to be true, you can be sure it isn’t!
This article was written by Neville Nyakundi.
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