SIDA Fraud in Ghana

A few weeks ago, I saw a job listed on that looked interesting. It was with the Swedish International Development Agency, SIDA and they needed people for a medium term project. It sounded perfect. In fact, it sounded too good to be true.

Anyways, against my gut feeling I sent in my CV. I did not think of it again, until yesterday when an email reached my inbox:

Dear Applicant,

Thank you very much for your interest in being part of our team at the Swedish International Development Agency (Sub Regional Office). We are currently responsible for the coordination of the activities of SIDA in 8 West African countries and would be happy to welcome you.
I am happy to inform you that you have been shortlisted for the position of a Project Officer. You are however required to pass a management appraisal case study to be administered at the University of Ghana Business School (Executive MBA Room B1 (Second Floor)).
You are kindly requested to report for the appraisal test on Friday June 19th at 3:00pm. The appraisal is an analysis of a case study with respect to team building, conflict resolution in a project team and general project management issues. There will be only one case study to be handled in 30 minutes.

You are requested to come along with the following documents:
a. A photocopy of your certificates (not necessarily certified, we will verify ourselves)
b. A photocopy of your passport or national ID Card (Information page)
c. The e-mail addresses of your two referees
d. A statement on your salary expectations for your position
e. A self address Global Courier Express International Envelope (You may contact Global Express Agencies at Accra Mall-Mother of the Year (Adjacent to Shoprite), Swanzy Shopping Arcade-Cover girl, Shop No 60, University of Ghana-Partners Bookshop (Central Cafeteria opposite Sarbah Hall), Javon Effects(Channel 5 Adjacent Preseco-Nungua), Challenge Bookshop (Adum- Kumasi). Your application documents are being processed in Lund-Sweden so get an appropriate envelope that can be sent from Lund.

Should you require further information kindly send us an email. Please note that we have not mandated anybody to collect money from applicants, anyone who parts financial reward for assistance to any person purporting to have control over the process does so at his or her own risk. The application process is entirely free of Charge.

Several things seemed fishy:
1. How could I've been shortlisted without any interview? And what evaluative case study takes 30 minutes?
2. Also I noticed the email came from a gmail account, which seemed unprofessional for a development agency.
3. I checked SIDA's official jobs' website, but there was no trace of any projects in Ghana (but in Lusaka and Kabul).

I finally wrote an email to the Swedish embassy in Abuja, Nigeria and got my expected reply this morning:

SIDA har inget kontor i Ghana så detta är nog en "scam". in English
SIDA does not have an office in Ghana so this is probably a "scam".

Probably? It is, my friend! I have heard of these things before, to recieve your price (or job opportunity in this case) you go to some deserted place (University of Ghana has vacated) and you get...thats right: robbed.

So this is a warning to all job seekers, there is no SIDA job in Ghana.

12.20 PM Update: Fraudsters get cold feet?

After blogging about this, I decided to also notify the University of Ghana about the planned fraud on their premises.

Also, just now I recieved this email.
Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in joining the project team at the Swedish International Development Agency (Sub Regional Office).

You have been shortlisted as a manager in one of our 8 project offices.We will communicate back to you by the close of the week.

However if you inadvertently received an email intending for shortlisted Project Officers to participate in a management appraisal test at the University of Ghana Business School, Kindly disregard it.

Sorry for the error. Thank You.


Oluniyi David Ajao said...

Thou shall not get scammed :)
Job scams is a big business on the Internet. See

Too bad they already have some of your info.

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

Hi David, thanks for the additional info on "Employment scams" and yes, I should have been more careful in the first place.

At least I can now warn others and hope they cant do much with just my CV.

The pale observer said...

Wow, Kajsa, this one is so well written - I'm very surprised. I'm used to some pretty low level e-mail scams that a child could detect, but this... wow. I could see so many people falling for that one.

Do you think it is run by students?!!

Pathetic! Preying on innocent, career-minded proactive people....

Ghana-o... she hasn't tried.

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

Hi Pale Observer,
you are right that the emails are extremely wellwritten, but I guess that could happen with copy and paste? I dont know if there are students behind, however it is serious for both SIDA and UG to have their reputation soiled by this! I hope they take som measures like dementing it in the press.

Nina said...

Hej Kajsa. Ja jag känner igen dej. Tror bestämt jag har sett bilder på dej å ditt fina bröllop i Ghana oxå. Så annorlunda våra liv måste vara nu. Va spännande att läsa om ditt.

Kul att du gillar min blogg.
Ja, huset ligger i Lummelunda.

Jag kommer hålla koll på dej å din blogg.
Ha en trevlig midsommar!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, thanks dave, I also recieved the same email u got yesterday and the whole day i have researching about its validity cos i figured its a scam. Lo i stambled on your comment here. Way to go bro.... thanks for the net. sakawa on high level ooo


Anonymous said...

Ah.. this was in Daily graphic too.. how???

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

Hi 2xAnon,

im glad if this blogpost stopped anybody from getting duped.

What was in the Daily Graphic? The SIDA job ad or my text labling it a fraud? What date

ICT said...

Scams designed to hurt jobseekers appear in the ‘real world’, but in addition, reliance on modern day technology leaves us all the more vulnerable. Whether you are posting your resume on job sites or receiving e-mails as part of your networking efforts, there is an increasing need to protect yourself.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, it's amazing that ihave stumbled on this about four months too late. I actually got a call from a Zain phone number (0266 555111) purporting to be SIDA. I was told to expect an email detailing where and when the initial screening was to take place. I never received the email, and their phone number has been off for the past four months.


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