Conmen minting thousands of shillings from innocent Kenyan job seekers in the name of checking their Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) listing status

Scammers targeting naive job seekers here in Kenya have devised high tech ways of extorting money in the pretense of checking their CRB status as a prerequisite to advancing to the next stage of job interview. With time, they’ve evolved to the point where they can easily disguise as legitimate and dupe unsuspecting Kenyans into sending cash, in most cases through mobile money services such as MPESA in the hope of advancing to the next stage of the interview.

The process involves some sophisticated techniques to look natural and legit. First, as you’d imagine, they’ll first register a custom domain name such “example.co.ke” usually similar to the name of fake company to be used. This ensures they secure an email address that looks official such as “info@example.co.ke”. We have all come to appreciate and relate some bit of seriousness with companies owning a custom paid email address, let’s face it; no one really takes any seriousness in a company that uses free email services the likes of Yahoo!, Gmail, hotmail and so forth.

To appear official and established, a decent website is then created and published on the domain with content written to describe nonexistent services and office locations that are mostly made up.

The next step is usually placing a job advert mostly online, both on their website and popular job listings sites such as “brightermonday” to reach a wider audience. You will be surprised on the amount of effort these conmen put in just so they can appear real; from job requirements to duties and responsibilities you’ll be expected to perform.

Once you submit your application, and because they need to swindle as many people as possible, you will certainly get back an email with an attachment of what supposedly is a form from their designated credit reference bureau. A point to note, these scammers in most cases disguise as financial institutions either in banking or insurance sectors so they can seem normal to check your CRB status.

A while back, one such scammer swindled a friend of mine after applying for a job on ‘brightermonday’. It’s so heartless to see these people play with lives of others. Below is a copy of email he received. It’s so heartless to see these people play with lives of others.

Below is a copy of email of their latest job scam.

Dear xxxxxx
Thank you for your job application with us. We have gone through your CV and it matches the ideal candidate that we want for the position. Congratulations as we are pleased to inform you that we have shortlisted you and we have scheduled an interview with you to join our professional team. Please note that this is a position that requires high level of trust and professionalism and thus standard background checks must apply. Please note that being a reputable, accredited financial services rendering company, currently operating in 10 countries across the globe; it is our policy to check the CRB listing status of all our candidates before we book them for a final interview.
We also provide loan facilities to all our employees who wish to take a loan with us and thus we would like to engage with the right people who will not take loans and run away. Consequently, we would like to seek your authorization to check your CRB status score before we can book you for the interview. We shall do this by ourselves through Experian Credit Reference Bureau. Kindly fill in the CRB form attached (in PDF) and send it back to us as soon as possible. Download the form, fill in with your own handwriting, scan and send it back to us. Our Interest is ONLY the listing status. Kindly note that even if you are blacklisted on CRB, that doesn’t disqualify you. Please note that requesting CRB report is NOT free and it’s charged. You will be required to pay Ksh. 300, which is the fee charged by Experian Credit Reference Bureau, and not a fee for interview, as we do not charge any fee for recruiting or hiring our staff. Please submit your dully filled CRB form as soon as possible, and should be accompanied by the CRB fee of Ksh 300. The payment is to be made to our Verification Officer, Mr. George Luke on: 0719-345595 via mobile money. Please submit your filled CRB form through the email: crb@advanskenya.com accompanied by a copy of your ID. Kindly submit the form as soon as possible. Once we receive your CRB report, we shall book call you and book you for an interview. We look forward to having you join our dedicated team of professionals.

Kind Regards,

Sophie Turner│Human Resource Manager

Head Office:

Ru La Fayette, Paris France
Registered in France, Number: 346900

Kenya Office: 104 Riverside, Riverside Drive – Nairobi.
Email: support@advanskenya.com | Website: www.advanskenya.com
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Below is a copy of email he received.

Kindly, note that being a Financial services rendering company, it is our policy to check the CRB listing status of all those who wish to join us. This helps us to among other things, to know that the people we engage in are of good morals and haven’t been blacklisted for stealing from their previous employers. AMRET Microfinance also provides loan facilities to all our employees who wish to take a loan with us and thus we would like to engage with the right people who will not take loans and run away. Consequently, we would like to seek your authorization to check your CRB status score. We shall do this by ourselves through Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Ltd. Kindly fill in the CRB form attached and send it back to us as soon as possible. Download the form, fill in with your own handwriting, scan and send it back to us. Our Interest is ONLY the listing status.

Please note that requesting CRB report is NOT free and it’s charged. You will be required to pay Ksh. 200, which is the fee charged by Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Ltd, and not a fee for interview, as we do not charge any fee for recruiting or hiring our staff. Please submit your dully filled CRB form as soon as possible, and should be accompanied by the CRB fee of Ksh 200. The CRB fees should be paid to 0700- 194525 (George Luke) who is the personnel in charge to request your CRB. Once we receive your CRB report, we shall communicate the interview date to you.

Kindly note that if you are blacklisted for other reasons apart from a crime like stealing money, we do not have a problem. N.B: Please note that we only request CRB report with our appointed personnel, who must dully certify the report as the true copy, and we do not accept CRB reports from elsewhere. Please submit your filled CRB form through the emails: crb@amretfinance.com accompanied by a copy of your ID.

Just the other day, another friend almost fell victim as well; she got the following email;

Dear “name is muted for privacy reasons”,

Thank you for your job application with us. We have gone through your CV and it matches the ideal candidate that we want for the position. Congratulations, as we are pleased to inform you that we have shortlisted you and we have scheduled an interview with you to join our professional team. Please note that this is a position that requires high level of trust and professionalism and thus standard background checks must apply. Please note that being a reputable, accredited insurance & financial services rendering company, currently operating in East Africa, it is our policy to check the CRB listing status of all our candidates before we book them for a final interview.

We also provide loan facilities to all our employees who wish to take a loan with us and thus we would like to engage with the right people who will not take loans and run away. Consequently, we would like to seek your authorization to check your CRB status score before we can book you for the interview. We shall do this by ourselves through Experian Credit Reference Bureau. Kindly fill in the CRB form attached (in PDF) and send it back to us as soon as possible. Download the form, fill in with your own handwriting, scan and send it back to us. Our Interest is ONLY the listing status. Kindly note that even if you are blacklisted on CRB, that doesn’t disqualify you. Please note that requesting CRB report is NOT free and it’s charged. You will be required to pay Ksh. 300, which is the fee charged by Experian Credit Reference Bureau, and not a fee for interview, as we do not charge any fee for recruiting or hiring our staff. Palliser.co.ke. Please submit your dully filled CRB form as soon as possible, and should be accompanied by the CRB fee of Ksh 300. The payment is to be made to our Verification Officer, Ms. Leah George on 0707-712 220 via mobile money.

How to tell if a job advert is fake ;

  • First of course they’ll ask for money
  • Phone contacts on their websites don’t go through except those provided to receive MPESA payments.
  • And if they get you on round one, be sure to be contacted again for an interview, this time with cheap reasons to scam you like money for drinks and so forth.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks so much for the crucial info. I just got a similar message from Palliser and I was almost sending them the money but I decided to do background checks. I am shocked everything you have discussed in your article matches the profile of Palliser. In any case, we have no insurance company called Palliser in Kenya. Again, Experian Credit Reference Bureau does not offer services in Kenya as of now. Thanks bro for cautioning us. Be blessed man.

    • Be Sure, they’ll be changing their name and website to something else soon. Initially they were AMRET Microfinance with Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Ltd, and now Palliser Insurance with Experian Credit Reference Bureau

    • Oh my! I have already been scammed I sent the 300 for the crb status report and later invited for an interview as bellow;
      Dear (👤)

      We received your CRB report and we are pleased to confirm you for the final interview with us.

      You are hereby invited for the interview and Aptitude and Psychometric tests on Saturday, 26/01/2019 at the Nairobi Safari Club, PDR Room, 5th Floor starting 9.00 AM to 3.00 PM. Nairobi Safari Club is located at Lillian Towers, University Way, opposite the University of Nairobi.

      There will be refreshments and lunch to be served at the Nairobi Safari Club and it will be charged Ksh. 300. This will cater for the refreshments and lunch during the process so we do not have candidates going out of the venue so we can finish up on time. Employment offer letter will be issued to you the same day.

      This money should be paid to 0711 624 569 (Mercy Kimathi) who is in charge of organizing and coordinating for the same.

      Please confirm your availability in time and make you payment as soon as possible and not later than 25/ 01/ 2019, to help in the planning of the same.

      Please note: When attending your aptitude test please ensure that you bring with you your original documents confirming your qualifications gained at KCSE, a Degree certificate or a letter of completion from the university and at least one form of identification for verification purposes i.e. valid passport or ID card.

      Note: Confirm you availability by replying to this email. Please note that only those who will have paid will be allowed to the PDR room for interviews.

      We look forward to having you join our dedicated team of professionals.

      Kind Regards,

      Best Regards

      Susan Kihui

      HR Department

  2. Thanks for the info i also got the same email from Palliser but when i saw they were asking for money i assumed it was a scam and didn’t respond

  3. Already conned 600 by palliser…it has just hit me today and have just found out there is no insurance co. in kenya by the name palliser

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