United Nations (UN) jobs scam

James Ryan Jonas

Just this week, one of our colleagues almost fell victim to another one of those scam job offers. This time, though, the job position is not a nanny but a high-paying and lucrative post at the United Nations in New York.

The job ad was forwarded to him by a friend who saw the advertisement online. He replied to the ad and filled up an “interview form.” A few days later, he got the following email informing him that he got the job and that he is being offered a salary of more than $10,000 a month.

The email goes:

From the Commission on Sustainable Development
United Nations
New York, USA

Dear xxx,

Your application for job at the UNCSD has been successful. Attached with this email is an employment agreement to be signed and dated by you in acceptance of this job. You are required to send back the signed employment agreement to human_resources@un-csd.org.

Also find attached the E-Copy of your employment letter and UN Declaration which you are expected to attend to. You shall receive the original copy of your employment letter via courier alongside your other traveling documents in due course.

Before then you will be required to contact e_staff@un-csd.org for information/details on your traveling documents and logistics for the mandatory 3 weeks UNCSD Orientation and intensive training in your field. The training is scheduled for the months of April, May and June. You are mandated to attend the training with the traveling arrangement and plans made ONLY by UNCSD to avoid complications and immigration issues.

Congratulations and welcome to the UNCSD family.

Warm Regards,

Dr Frith Raehl
Human Resources Department
Two UN Plaza, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10017.



I am directed to inform you that your application has been considered for the position of Finance Officer. You have been offered provisional employment which shall be rectified after your 3 months probation.

Salary: Per Organization policy you will be eligible to receive an annual net starting salary of US$129,420.00 paid in monthly installments by direct deposit into your choice account or by check. The offered position is full-time.

Performance Benefit: You shall be paid up to 10% of your annual salary annually based on your performance by direct deposit into your choice account or by check.

Medical and Health Benefits: Basic medical services are provided to staff to help maintain the health status at a medical center in your duty station. A voluntary group medical insurance plan is offered to help provide protection to you and your dependents against the cost incurred as a result of medical emergency.

Leave: Annual leave is accrued at the rate of 2.5 working days per month of service, total 30 working days per year. You are also entitled to special leave with or without pay subject to approval which includes educational leave or staff development leave.

Insurance: The various insurance plans are available to staff on voluntary and mandatory basis based on the insurance plan: Group life insurance plan; Group accidental death or disability insurance plan and workers compensation insurance plan. Also you will receive taxable government housing scheme, as well as a taxable cost-of living allowance where the cost of living is higher than in New York. You may also receive a “school-away-from-post” allowance for the education of your dependent children. Please be advised that our notification to you that your application is successful and invitation to training is a direct confirmation that you are now a new entrant into UNCSD as a staff and would be deployed to post at the completion of your mandatory one month long Training.

Best regards and Congratulations,


Our friend was almost sure this was a done deal. Good thing he relayed this to us and we told him to conduct due diligence first to confirm the authenticity of the offer.

We initially checked the site from where the email originated. UN-CSD.ORG does exist and, at first glance, it seems to be an official United Nations site.

However, the actual and truly official website of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development is this. Which means the website www.un-csd.org may be a fake one.

Next to check: the registration info of the site, which identifies who owns a website. A WHOIS check of the official www.un.org website shows the following:

Domain Name: UN.ORG
Created On: 31-Jan-1995 05:00:00 UTC
Last Updated On: 28-Jan-2010 21:00:44 UTC
Expiration Date: 01-Feb-2015 05:00:00 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar: Network Solutions LLC (R63-LROR)
Registrant ID: 42850152-NSI
Registrant Name: United Nations
Registrant Organization: United Nations
Registrant Street1: 405 E42nd St
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City: New York
Registrant State/Province: NY
Registrant Postal Code: 10017
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone:+1.212963123
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email: admin@un.org

On the other hand, a WHOIS check of www.un-csd.org shows a different info:

Domain Name: UN-CSD.ORG
Created On: 18-Feb-2009 23:24:01 UTC
Last Updated On: 13-Jan-2010 10:07:11 UTC
Expiration Date: 18-Feb-2010 23:24:01 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:007 Names, Inc (R8-LROR)
Status: OK
Registrant ID: O5OV3UR4GE
Registrant Name: UN CSD
Registrant Street1: 8101 Sandy Spring Road
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City: Laurel
Registrant State/Province: MD
Registrant Postal Code: 20707
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.5167408892
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email: boostinggud3@yahoo.com

It is unusual that www.un-csd.org was created only in 2009 while UN’s official site www.un.org has been in existence since 1995.

Also, it is strange that the registrant address is in Laurel, Maryland (MD) considering that the UN CSD’s office in the email is in New York.

Most peculiar, however, is the registrant email. There is not much credibility if the registrant person of a UN site is using a weird-sounding email address such as boostinggud3@yahoo.com. Why not an official un.org email add?

That is the give-away. This job offer is 100% scam.

I am sure if you continue communicating with that “United Nations” person, you will be asked to pay some amount for the “traveling arrangements” or for some other work-related expense.

In that case, it becomes a full-fledged scam because the United Nations won’t ask payment from a job applicant.

Be informed and be warned. Do not fall for job scams like this one.

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James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.