A false post inviting applications for work during the population and housing census this year has been floating in Namibian WhatsApp groups
The post which claims that recruitment for the National Population Census has started has been forwarded to Namibia Fact Check three times over the last month, with the last post being forwarded for verification on 30 March 2023.
Some of the posts contain a link to a webpage and some don’t.
The post without a link.
The post with a link.
When you click on the unofficial-looking link it does not land the potential applicant on an official webpage connected to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), which is responsible for conducting the Population and Housing Census, but merely links to a webpage stating that the site cannot be reached.
This is clearly a scam post, as it has all the signs of such posts.
The signs are:
- Bad spelling and grammar;
- No official logo or identifiable agency emblem;
- An unofficial webpage link.
The NSA has still not announced when recruitment for Census 2023 will start or even when the census will happen.
So, the simple truth is that there is no recruiting happening yet for the census later in the year.
In an article published by The Namibian newspaper on 1 March 2023, the Statistician General, Alex Shimuafeni, stated that the recruitment process for the census had not yet started, and the article states:
“Shimuafeni said the census positions will be advertised on media platforms, including the NSA’s website, the Namibia Integrated Employment Information System (NIEIS) and at regional and local authority offices.”
Shimuafeni was also quoted stating:
“The nation will be informed when the application process starts”
By 31 March 2023, there were still no census positions being advertised on the website of the NSA or via widely available media, as stated by Alex Shimuafeni.
The census recruitment post forwarded via WhatsApp is thus clearly an identity theft scam meant to draw in desperate job seekers and getting them to hand over their personal data through some online mechanism, which in the post is referred to as an “NPC 2023 recruitment form”.
WhatsApp and social media users are thus urged to be careful of jobs posted in WhatsApp groups as there appears to be a torrent of identity theft scams disguised as employment opportunities or funding calls currently sweeping through chat groups.