Fraudsters fleece job seekers as unemployment rate soars


Fraudsters and job scammers are in business, smiling to the banks, as job seekers, who are ready to go to any length to get employed as a result of the soaring unemployment rate in the country fall prey to them.
Unemployment rate figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics show that in the third quarter of 2015, unemployment rate was 10.4 per cent. It has, however, worsened this year, climbing to 12.1 per cent in March.
The unsavoury development has created a conducive atmosphere for the exploitation and swindling of the unemployed by job scammers.
Most victims of the fraudsters are desperate unemployed graduates who are churned out yearly in their thousands from different higher institutions in the country to swell up the labour market in the face of poor creation of jobs by all tiers of government.
The swindlers, The Point gathered, are cashing in on the high unemployment rate in the country to prey on job seekers. They employ all manner of tricks to defraud the unemployed. Their victims, who spoke with The Point, recounted their sad experiences.
A victim, Bolu Oni, narrated how she was allegedly swindled by a recruitment center, formerly situated at Opebi, Ikeja, but now in Lekki area of Lagos. She said that the syndicate claimed to be a representative of a USA- based firm that farmed out jobs for various firms in Nigeria. To qualify for the programme, a prospective candidate would undergo training in the customer care service of the firm. The training attracts a payment of N49,000 fee, which could be paid by installments.
She said that the fake firm’s Ikeja office was well furnished to convince any doubting Thomas of the genuineness and seriousness of the firm.
“With such a decorative setting in the office, hardly could any person suspect that fraud was in the air. The training ran for almost two weeks, examination was conducted and certificate was awarded. It was after the payment and collection of certificate that it dawned on me that the firm did not exist as she waited to receive invitation for interview which never came,” she said.
Another victim, who simply identified herself as Ajoke, said she was swindled by a fake airline company she knew about through a friend.
“The firm’s official said it was recruiting cabin crew, and as such would need some materials. The company’s proprietress was an old woman, who ceaselessly encouraged them to trust God in the process and meet the demands involved, be it money, time and attention. I paid N15,000 while some others paid up to N35,000 depending on how desperate they were.,” she said.
The following week, on getting to the office site, all the workers had vanished into thin air.
Another outfit, Emfrica, that has an office in Ikeja, Lagos, claims to be an NGO that assists unemployed graduates by training them in air cargo logistics by inviting logistics firms to facilitate lectures, conduct interviews and eventually offer successful candidates employment. However, people who have had cause to enroll into the programmes of the organisation have accused it fraud.
The allegation was not unconnected with a recent revelation that less than five per cent of thousands of applicants that besieged the organisation got employed, after they had paid N1,000 and N2,000 for identity cards and certificates respectively.
When The Point contacted the spokesman of the firm to confirm the allegation, he denied it, disclosing that not less than 60 per cent of applicants had been successfully employed through the services of the organisation.