HOAX: A site claiming to recruit employees for the EPRA is a scam | by PesaCheck | October 2022

The energy regulator distanced itself from the website and urged Kenyans to disregard it.

A website claiming to recruit employees for the Petroleum and Energy Regulatory Authority (EPRA) is a scam.

The website – URL “https://portal.erc.govservice.site” – claims to recruit ad hoc staff for EPRA.

Once you click on the link, you are taken to a welcome page, where there is a form asking to fill in details such as name, phone number, academic qualifications and age.

After filling out the form, a user is prompted to click next, where a page asks for details about their marital status.

The page also contains user comments where alleged beneficiary testimonials have been shared.

After this page, users are asked to share the app link with friends on WhatsApp.

The page contains a message that those who do not share the link with 15 friends or five groups cannot continue with the remaining part of the application.

But is the website legit? Does it really belong to EPRA?

We performed a Whois search and determined that the website was registered on April 8, 2022 by an entity known as Go Daddy, LLC in Arizona, USA.

The website being less than a year old is a red flag as most online scams use new websites because it is difficult to establish whether the company behind it has been involved in questionable activities.

Another major red flag is that the website requires users to share its link before benefiting from it. A previous article published by PesaCheck on setting up online scams highlighted this as one of the ways to determine online hoaxes.

We checked EPRA’s Facebook and Twitter deadlines for such a website and the result was negative. We found that the company had a different website.

On its verified Twitter account, EPRA has listed epra.go.ke as its official website.

A Whois search on the official EPRA website established that it was registered in April 2019 by the ICT Authority.

On the EPRA Twitter account, we also came across a Publish denouncing the website and asking Kenyans to disregard it.

“Our attention had been drawn to several fraudulent URL links on certain digital platforms offering employment opportunities. @EPRA_Ke wishes to inform Kenyans that advertisements such as the one shown below are fake,” EPRA said.

“The Authority follows a merit-based recruitment process advertised on our official website,” he added.

PesaCheck reviewed a website claiming to recruit employees for the Petroleum and Energy Regulatory Authority (EPRA) and found it to be a scam.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact checks examining content flagged as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organizations like PesaCheck help tell fact from fiction. We do this by giving audiences deeper insight and context into the posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here is more information on The PesaCheck methodology to check for questionable content.

This fact check was written by PesaCheck Fact-Checker Rodgers Omondi and edited by PesaCheck Senior Copy Editor Cedrick Irakoze and acting editor Francis Mwaniki.

The article has been approved for publication by the editor of PesaCheck Doreen Wainainah.

PesaCheck is the first public finance fact-checking initiative in East Africa. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arensteinand is incubated by the continent’s largest civic tech and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It aims to help the public separate fact from fiction in public statements about the numbers that shape our world, with particular emphasis on public finance statements that shape government delivery of public services and development goals. (SDGs), such as health care, rural development and access to water/sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reporting. To learn more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africathrough his fund innovateAFRICAwith the support of Deutsche Welle Academyin partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watch organizations.

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