Okay I was almost scammed on LinkedIn…
I contemplated whether I should keep this story to myself or maybe if I did share the story I would keep the names of the parties out. I finally decided to share everything to prevent others from falling prey to this exact same scam. Mrs Rabi Rabiu Jimeta is the Permanent secretary at Federal Ministry of Water Resources, and I believe her account was either hacked or it might have just been a fake account with her name, she probably does not even know she has this account.
A lawyer without a job or a job one is trying to get out of, is like a lion seeking a prey to devour. The search for a job is not a joke, all your senses are up! Your eyes watch to see the latest job vacancies online or in newspapers or to spot the right connect for a job, your ear s ready to even eavesdrop on conversations where you have heard there is a job vacancy…I can go on and on but the main point is that your senses are alert!!!!
Earlier on this week, a “Mrs Rabi Shuaibu Jimeta” invited me to her network and I accepted, I checked her profile out and it said she was the Permanent secretary at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. After I accepted her invitation, she sent me a private mail thanking me for joining her network and asking me how I was doing. On a normal day, I do not reply mails in my inbox that will lead to nowhere but for this Madam Permanent secretary I was willing to make an exception and so I replied her and asked her how she was doing as well.
The next day the conversation continued but this time it felt too good to be true, she said and I quote “Okay, this is to inform you that there is an on-going replacement of staffs in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in case you are interested or have anybody that can work with them; you let me know I will assist”. I already started imagining my testimony in church, if this was not God’s favor I do not know what is. So I replied a few hours later so as not to appear desperate and I calmly said (or in my mind I thought I sounded calm) “I am interested Ma. What is the application process? Would you want me to send you my CV? And to what email address? Thank you”
It still felt too good to be true and then she replied again “Alright, kindly contact Mr Abdullah their recruiter on 0802xxxxxxx, tell him that you are from me he will assist you to get the application form and also lead you through. If there is any inconvenience, don’t hesitate to let me know.”
“This just had to be divine favor” I told myself.
I called the Mr. Abdullah who corrected me when I didn’t pronounce Mrs. Rabi Shuaibu Jimeta’s name correctly and for some reason that gave me peace that this might not be a fraud after all. He asked me to text him my name and email address for him to send me the application form. I was so excited and he sent me a mail in 30mins, attached to the mail was an NNPC “Replacement form” it was signed and stamped by the Managing Director, at this point I already started doing a little dance inside. But to make sure I had a full testimony on Sunday, I decided to forward the mail to a friend who works at NNPC.
I got a quick reply “It is FAKE! firstname.lastname@example.org> That is not our website. Our website is nnpcgroup.com”…WHAT?!? No testimony…no job at NNPC…it wasn’t divine favour afterall!
I replied my friend simply with a “LOOOL!!! I thought as much! Thank you”. If only he knew I did not find this funny.
While Linkedin is an amazing platform to connect with potential employers there are a few people who would love to take advantage of this platform to extort vulnerable job seekers. If it is too good to be true it is simply too good to be true.
Now I think of it why did I think the Permanent Secretary of Water Resources would have any business with NNPC and their recruitment process? Hmmm
Have you encountered something similar? Please share your story under the comment section.
Be careful out there!