Recruitment Scams resurface in Nigeria in 2017

| 4 min read
Recruitment scam in Nigeria (1)

The scam jobs and vacancies have returned

The year 2017 has kicked off on a very busy note for companies and government agencies in Nigeria judging from the activities of recruitment efforts. At the same time, recruitment scams are also on the rise as more job seekers are expected to increase their job search attempts.

A good case in reference is the impersonation of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) in January 2017.

This started with unconfirmed reports of how the PCN allegedly compelled job seekers to pay a fee of N48,000 to be enlisted into the Corps instead of the usual fee of N1,500 for its official recruitment form.

Recruitment scam in Nigeria (3)

In a swift reaction to this scam, the management of PCN openly disassociated itself from the N48,000 being allegedly claimed. The scam was exposed shortly after a Nigerian newspaper published a news story titled ‘In Desperation, Job Seekers Pay N48, 000 To Enlist In Peace Corps.’

According to the Public Relations Officer, Patriot  Millicent Umoru explained that this does not reflect the true picture of its modus operandi.


The NCS Recruitment Scam

Sadly, there are many others. Another recruitment scam that has eaten deep into the social media and email marketing space are messages and posts that claim the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is recruiting. Ironically, at the time of writing this article, the NCS is not hiring.

No vacancies at the Nigeria Customs Service
Screenshot of the NCS website on 1st February to show there are no available vacancies


To lure more unsuspecting victims into the web of deceit, the perpetrators of this scam go as far as reeling out specific vacancies that require being filled. Below are images of forms currently used by the fake recruiters.

Nigeria Customs Service Application form
A fake copy of the Nigeria Customs Service Application form


Nigeria Customs Service Application form 1
Another fake copy of the Nigeria Customs Service Application form


Another deceptive tool used are fake success stories and referrals from those who claim to have received help from inside sources within the NCS.

Basically, the scam is in two broad phases. First, the victims are scammed into believing there are existing vacancies within the Nigerian Customs Service whereas no such vacancies exist.

The second phase of the scam opens up when members of the public are erroneously made to believe that the scam is real via documentation that seemingly look real. The scam recruiters go as far as creating a story of how they can influence the process of getting the candidates into the service riding on the influence of a certain retired military officer.

Recruitment scam in Nigeria (2)

According to a victim, “They keep on forwarding messages in social media with an email address saying that all interested candidate should forward their CVs through this Email.

The victim who claimed anonymity went ahead to explain how the process works.

“If you send your CV they will send you an application form for you to print out, fill and scan back to their email. Once you do that they will send you an interview form telling you that you are invited to attend an interview, and before going to the interview a sum of 10,600 Naira is required to be deposited into their account”.

Recruitment scam in Nigeria (4)

The Kano Scam

Another rampant recruitment scam in Nigeria that has resurfaced in 2017 is the job market in Kano. Here, phone contacts of the scam recruiters are printed on large posters and circulated at several locations within the state.

Confirming the trend, the Kano police command spokesperson, DSP Magaji Musa Majiya affirmed that the police was on top of the situation and was compiling phone contacts on such scam vacancies posted or written on walls and pavements.

There are several ways to avoid fake jobs and recruitment scams and some of them include doing a thorough search on the hiring agency or organisation, visiting their websites to confirm if there are legitimate vacancies.

As the year progresses, steer clear of organisations that use free email accounts like Gmail and Yahoo instead of corporate email accounts and avoid being too desperate to notice the tell tale signs of a recruitment scam.

Samod Biobaku
A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch,, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.