On Wednesday 17 May 2023, an image purporting to be from the United Nations was circulated in WhatsApp groups with the caption UNITED NATIONS ALERT! The image contained a message supposedly from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warning readers to be wary of fake foreign agencies promising them jobs abroad.
iVerify Zambia has identified as false the image shared on a WhatsApp platform with a message purporting to be a warning from the United Nations (UN) warning readers to be wary of fake foreign agencies offering jobs abroad as they could be traffickers for the black market in body parts in the Middle East. iVerify Zambia used various means to establish the authenticity of the image. A Google search for the image using the link to the same image returned a 404 error, suggesting that the UNODC website was being spoofed. A further search of the Office on Drugs and Crime website (https://www.unodc.org/unodc/index.html ) revealed that the agency has not issued any alerts on trafficking in human body parts.
iVerify Zambia’s findings are similar to other fact-checks of the image by PesaCheck on 18 March 2021 and AFP Fact-Check on 15 March 2021 and updated on Wednesday 17 March 2021, which flagged the purported alert as false. UNODC Pakistan had confirmed to AFP Fact-Check that the message “does not originate from UNODC and contains outdated information not related to current UNODC activities”.
The review also found that the fake post, which also appeared on Twitter in 2021, was also shared on the Facebook page of the Cameroon News Agency in December 2020 and was flagged as false information by Facebook.