Fake circular on Nigeria Immigration Service staff replacement circulates on WhatsApp

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A press release attributed to the Civil Defense, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB) has claimed that the application for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) staff replacement has commenced.

The circular titled: “Nigeria Immigration Service Notice of 2022/2023 General Replacement” was retrieved from a WhatsApp group on the 10th of December, 2022.

It stated that the CDCFIB has: “approved the commencement of the Nigeria Immigration Service 2022/2023 replacement exercise.”

“Applications are hereby invited from qualified persons for full-time employment into the following positions:

“CATEGORY A: SUPERINTENDENT CADRE
CATEGORY B: INSPECTORATE CADRE
CATEGORY C: ASSISTANT CADRE”, it added.

The circular stated that the number of applicants required is 3,600, adding that interested persons should go through the portal, www.niscareer.org.ng to apply.

Screenshot of the fake NIS recruitment website.

A click on the application link stated in the circular directs users to a webpage with a pop-up instruction that reads:

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR APPLICANTS
This is to notify the public that The Nigeria Immigration Service does not have any agent for the online application. Therefore, you are to Make the payment of ₦1,000 Application fee on this website (www.niscareer.org.ng) and you will get a confirmation of approval for your application if successful. Kindly report such act through the phone numbers on our website or email.
The Nigeria Immigration reserves the right to prosecute any individual or group found to have fraudulently gained access to this site or information contained in it. Applicants are therefore advised to pay directly through this portal.

Below the instruction is a signage that directs users to “click here to continue”. When clicked it takes users to another webpage which listed the various categories of positions available. They include: Superintendent Cadre; Inspectorate Cadre; and Assistant Cadre. It also has information about the general requirements for eligibility as well as a brief history of the NIS.

Screenshot of the fake NIS recruitment webpage where the available positions were listed.

CLAIM

Application opens for Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) 2022/2023 general replacement.

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

When contacted yesterday, the NIS debunked the viral claim, saying it is fake as no such announcement emanated from the agency.

The NIS, in a disclaimer made available to The FactCheckHub via WhatsApp, advised members of the public to ignore and report every platform sharing the recruitment announcement.

“We state categorically and for the avoidance of every doubt, that we are not recruiting at the moment.

“If and when we begin recruitment, such information would be made available via our official social media channels and our only website: www.immigration.gov.ng,” the disclaimer read.

The agency also posted on its Twitter page a similar disclaimer on Monday, December 19, 2022. (See the embedded tweet below).

The FactCheckHub observed that there are at least four different websites online being operated as the Nigeria Immigration Service career/recruitment portal.

The websites are niscareer.org.ng, nisportal.com, immigrationrecruitment.org, and immigrationrecruitment.org.ng.

In a telephone conversation with our fact-checker/researcher, the NIS Public Relations Officer, Anthony Akuneme, stated that none of the websites is run by the agency.

“Anyone (website) you see now is not authentic,” Akuneme said.

While stating that the CDCFIB is in charge of recruitment into the agency, he said the application currently open as approved by the board is that of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

He further noted that when it is time for the NIS recruitment exercise, the official announcement will be available on the board’s website, adding that the official recruitment portal will also go live.

Further checks on the domain names of the viral websites using Whois Domain Lookup revealed that Access Solutions Limited located in Abuja created immigrationrecruitment.org.ng on March 13, 2020 while someone named Christopher West created niscareer.org.ng on April 26, 2022.

Immigrationrecruitment.org was created on February 21, 2021, and Nisportal.com was earlier created on February 8, 2008. The information about their registrants however shows “redacted for privacy”; that is, they are hidden from public records.

Over time, The FactCheckHub has debunked several of such claims hiding under the guise of recruitment, support fund, empowerment programme, a government activity or free internet data.

These claims usually follow a similar modus operandi by targeting areas that would be of interest to a lot of persons.

They are often shared via the WhatsApp platform. Oftentimes, they impersonate a group, person or organisation and they all have a link they ask people to click.

It will be recalled that The FactCheckHub had earlier published a tutorial on how to fact-check viral post shared via WhatsApp to help online users, including our readers avoid falling victim to misinformation spread through the encrypted WhatsApp platform.

You can also read The FactCheckHub’s article on how to identify phishing scams and websites.

THE VERDICT

The claim that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is calling for applications for 2022/2023 general replacement is FALSE; the agency debunked it via its official Twitter handle: @nigimmigration and by its spokesperson.

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