County Public Service Board warns about conmen fleecing job seekers

CPSB Chairman Michael Lelit addresses the press at his office in Iten.

The Elgeyo Marakwet County Public Service Board (CPSB) has issued an alert over a scam involving a notorious  conwoman who has been preying on unsuspecting job seekers and fleecing them of money promising them job vacancies in the ongoing recruitment of 30 Agriculture officers.

Board Chairman, Mr Michael Lelit, raised the red flag after a job seeker formally made a complaint to his office after losing Ksh 12,500 to the conwoman who, according to the victim, lured him to Iten with fake promises of a job.

The County Government advertised 30 jobs in various fields in Agriculture and Livestock departments and the recruitment process is currently being undertaken by the board.

“This young man was called by this lady who promised that he would be shortlisted and was asked to send some money as down payment which he did. He was called again and told everything was done and that his letter was being processed. He was asked for more money,” said Lelit during a press briefing at the board offices Thursday morning.

The young man was then asked to travel to County headquarters in Iten to collect his letter which was expected to be ready, narrated the chairman.

“When he got to Iten, he called the lady who asked him to hang around Iten town as he awaited the board to append the last signature on the letter. At this point, the conwoman asked for the last down payment promising they would meet over lunch hour to hand over the appointment letter,” said Lelit.

The man reportedly sent the last down payment of Ksh 7,500 but immediately got concerned that he had sent all the money requested before they could meet with the lady to receive the letter.

“This is when the thought that he had been conned came to his mind and he immediately reversed the mpesa transaction through Safaricom. However, the lady had utilized Ksh 500 but he recovered Ksh 7,000. In total, he lost 12,500,” said Lelit.

The Chairman said the case reported to him was also reported together with another at the Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) office in Iten bringing the cases to two. He added that there was a probability other people may have fallen victim to the scam but had not reported.

“When the first case was reported to me, I immediately went to the DCI where I was told another case had been reported. The DCI County Officer Incharge informed me that they had launched investigations over the matter,” said Lelit.

The Chairman further revealed that there was another scam involving a past recruitment of 90 health staff in 2014. He said some people were circulating the job advertisement notice via whatsapp and conning job seekers with false promises of getting them the jobs.

“We have received reports that some people are being contacted to be offered these jobs which were filled in 2014. We have also asked the DCI to investigate this issue and bring these culprits to book,” said Lelit.

He warned job seekers to be wary of such schemes and make official inquiries on job vacancies to the Board to avoid falling prey to the fraudsters.

“When there is any vacancy, the Board advertises in our County website and in the local dailies as is required by law. After that, we shortlist qualified candidates and inform the general public in the same manner,” said the Chairman.

Lelit further said the Board does not use intermediaries in the recruitment process adding that canvassing for jobs is illegal.

“Any member of the public who is contacted on phone before any official communication on job vacancies is made should treat it as a fraud and report the matter immediately to the Board or the police for action, he said.