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IOM Warns Nigerians of Fake UK Employment Scams, ‘Some Nigerians Have Lost Over $10,000’

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The International Organisation for Migration, IOM, a prominent agency under the United Nations, has issued a warning to potential migrants, especially Nigerians, regarding a syndicate specialising in fraudulent UK employment offers.

The scam, involving fake employment letters, has reportedly deceived over a thousand Nigerians, enticing them with non-existent job opportunities in the United Kingdom.

Laurent De Boeck, IOM’s Chief of Mission to Nigeria, addressed these concerns during a press conference on Monday, December 18, 2023.

IOM
Laurent De Boeck, IOM’s Chief of Mission to Nigeria

He revealed the distressing extent of the scam, noting that many victims have each lost close to $10,000. The financial impact has been severe, but the emotional toll is also noteworthy, as many victims, now stranded in the UK, hesitate to return home due to shame.

De Boeck detailed the modus operandi of the scam, explaining, “There are some of them who lost over $10,000 only to be given fake employment letters which allowed them to get visas. They get there, present the letters, and the organisations would tell them that the letters did not emanate from the organisations.”

The situation has resulted in a significant number of Nigerians facing hardship in the UK, with many lacking the means to return. This predicament underscores the broader issue of migration scams and the vulnerabilities of individuals seeking better opportunities abroad.

migrants
In this photo taken on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, a dinghy of the Ocean Viking vessel, right, approaches a boat carrying migrants during a rescue operation. | SOS Mediterranee

In response to the crisis, IOM is actively working with partners to facilitate the repatriation of thousands, including Nigerians, from countries like Tunisia, which has recently imposed a ban on migration.

De Boeck also mentioned IOM’s collaboration with Italy to develop regular pathways for qualified Nigerians and plans to engage with other countries such as Spain, Belgium, and France.

This development is a stark reminder of the risks associated with irregular migration and the importance of verifying employment opportunities abroad.

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