Staying Vigilant

Over the years I’ve been persistent in my advocacy for personal vigilance in tackling most frauds that we witness in our spaces. I even went ahead to write about it sharing my ordeal here and a follow up with a case with digital payment solutions (M-PESA) in Kenya. It was my hope and wish that by sharing these I was helping avert more cases of such frauds but then it still happens so I have to keep on sharing about it hoping I’ll have saved one person or two and that you will support by sharing this article with others.

Desperation coupled with or driven by social problems is one sure way to fall victim to fraudsters because as in marketing they sell you what you really need at the very moment in the best way possible. While this is the case I also acknowledge the fact that when pressed to the wall chances are high you hold onto anything that offers some form of hope in this case fraudsters who make it work for them but not you. Last night I received an article from a mentor, friend and respected senior colleague of a senior sergeant who ran a con racket in the guise of employment opportunities in various government departments. The painful bit of this is that she was prying on needy and desperate individuals looking up to her to offer them a chance even though in a corrupt way. This has been a norm and not so often do we receive invites to share our resumes followed by calls for tokens of appreciation. In my upbringing I was taught that you don’t solicit appreciation if at all you were doing it in goodwill which already negates such individuals who offer to help.

Today in a call with my sister she told me of an ordeal of someone trying to offer her a job at KEMRI using fake email addresses and going further to ask for a bribe. In our call they had posed as employees who had been referred to her by a close colleague in plans to fill an internal position. The concerning thing to me on this account was that she was being called in yet not an employee thus not internal position as such. Further to this, KEMRI being a public parastatal is required by law to advertise any employment opportunities in the local dailies, its website, social media pages among others yet these were all coming out as negative. The directors mentioned were not even part of KEMRI staff so in their minds they thought they were dealing with someone who wouldn’t go further to look into the details thus would outright give in and send the money for the job. Too bad they lost on this but unfortunately there are individuals who fall prey to such cons.

These individuals prey on the innocent and we have to shame and stop them in whichever way we can. They’ll send you details from an email that looks legitimate e.g. in this case it was yet the registered KEMRI domain is hence any email would have to be Please before you consider any option do your background check. Further to this ask yourself why out of 7billion people of which at least 4billion are actively looking for jobs, a stranger would come from nowhere with a lucrative offer just for you. Often times we receive referrals and we are grateful for those who go out of their way to refer others to jobs but we all know these are often people we know. No stranger will just appear from nowhere and give you a job. As I mentioned in the article referred above, there’s no way you will win a lottery you didn’t play. Do your due diligence and let’s do better.

Finally, share this article with those in your networks to spare them from incurring loses they don’t have to. Desperation pushes us to extremes but let it not make us lower our guards.

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