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Diary of a jobless Kenyan youth: Identifying fraudulent jobs


Nairobi will show you flames.

While web surfing the other day I came across a glorious opportunity at some nondescript NGO website. As I read through the tasks of the job they were all things I was familiar with. I scroll further and see that they have posted the pay range; it reads 200-300k dependent on experience. Yet the minimum experience is one year. I’m like, ‘is this for real?’

I go ahead and apply for the job. Two days later, inbox (1) appears when I open my mail. They have written back and I have been shortlisted. I clap gleefully before reading through enticing email. Then I come across this statement:

The first stage interview process involves the submission of Psychometric Assessment Test (PAT) Report evaluated by accredited international invigilator. We know it is not easy to get internationally accredited PAT invigilator. Kindly go ahead and obtain your certification from but not limited to the below.

  1. Neto Consultants Ltd: http://netoconsult.com
  2. The HR Consult: http://thehrconsult.net

So I head over to the listed sites and see that I have to pay for the so-called PAT test.

Something smells fishy, why am I paying for the interview process? The only interviews people pay for are immigration visas.

I ask a couple of friends whether they have heard of situations where you pay for a PAT test. One guy at the office I am volunteering at tells me he has been through a similar experience. He said he thought it was genuine; one reason being that the ‘recruiter’ is not limiting me to a specific invigilator. He mentions how gracious the email language is and how they inspired confidence in him that he would get the job but eventually fell silent.

Yes, the email is way friendly, seductive even.

I am still not comfortable with the idea of paying for this certificate.

  1. I cannot really use it elsewhere most companies organize their own tests.
  2. I do not have disposable $100 lying around.

I just keep thinking that this is a scam for the supposed consultancies to make money. So I think to call the number provided at the end of the email but it is an international number and I shy away from that approach. I think to search if the NGO is registered with the Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Board. However, their website is of little help.

Read: Why don’t interviews call when they say they will?

Finally, I copy paste the address details provided in the email on Google and whoosh JOB SCAMS ALERT shows up and I see other people have received the same email.

Here are more ways to identify fake jobs:

1. Check if the website of the said organisation has advertised for the vacancy.

2. If you get an email from the organisation, be keen on the email address. The domain of the email should match the domain of the website. If the organisation is using a HR agency, the agency should have a website and a working telephone number.

3. Don’t fall for the big remuneration trap. If you just have one year of working experience, don’t expect a six figure salary.

4. Unless it is a bona fide recruitment agency, be very cautious when a company asks you to pay for any process to be complete.

5. More often than not, suspicious recruiters offer you a job before you are interviewed.

Kutafuta kazi ndio kazi that could mean different things to different people but for the team behind this scam exploiting job seekers, ndio kazi.

Remember, if it is good to be true, it probably is.

It’s a jungle out here. Back on the job hunt.

By Bench Reserve

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