Beware of these 3 common scams targeting job seekers in SA
Finding a job can be tricky and time-consuming in South Africa. Scammers and fraudsters are well aware that there are thousands of desperate job-hunting South Africans out there who will do almost anything to find a job and for this reason, many of them target the unemployed with their elaborate schemes. It has become extremely important to safeguard yourself against scams.
It has always been our aim at Job Mail to make job seekers and the general public aware of scams that are doing their rounds in the South African recruitment sphere and to keep our site scam free, so today we’re covering 3 common scams targeting job seekers in South Africa.
1. The “Fax to E-mail” Scam:
A “recruiter” posts a fake position on a job site or responds to a potential job seeker who is looking for work. Once they receive responses from a job seeker, they simply reply by asking them to fax their CV’s (and all their documentation) to a 086 fax number.
Bare in mind that many companies do use 086 fax numbers legitimately and professionally for business, so trust your gut and employ your investigative skills before you make a judgement call.
Fax to e-mail services are used by these scammers and the fax number is set up to incur charges beyond standard rates, so the job seeker gets overcharged on their phone bill and the “recruiter” earns revenue for every page that gets faxed through for the fake position.
To avoid getting caught by this scam: Verify the source of the inquiry (by checking if the company’s phone number actually exists – they’re probably not legit if you automatically get directed to a fax line), check if the company is registered to operate (by doing a quick Google search and checking if they have a valid VAT number) and make sure that fax is NOT the only way to communicate with them (insist on e-mailing your CV and if they still insist that you should fax your CV, they’re probably not legit).
2. Interview / Training payment scam:
A “recruiter” responds to a job seeker who is desperate to find a job by calling them or e-mailing them. They tell them that they’re shortlisted for a position and request that the job seeker pay an amount into their account for “Registration” or “Training” before they come to see them at their offices.
In another variation of this scam, the “recruiter” invites the job seeker for an interview at their offices (which is usually far away from the job seekers location). Once the job seeker arrives at their offices, they are asked to pay a “registration” / “training” fee on the spot (before they’re even interviewed).
To avoid getting caught by this scam: Take note that you should not be paying a recruiter to get employed or to get an interview. Verify if the company actually exists and is authorized to trade in South Africa (by checking if they have a VAT number). Avoid travelling far distances for interviews, rather look around for positions in your area.
Also take note that legitimate recruiters will not ask you a fee to get registered on their database (because they are getting paid by companies to recruit staff for them). Some recruitment agencies do offer extra paid services like revamping your CV, but they won’t ask you for money to get shortlisted for an interview or for training. Also take note that most companies won’t ask you for a training fee right off the bat and will most likely deduct a fee from your first paycheck.
Remember the golden rule: If something is too good to be true, it’s most like false.
3. Dodgy Work-from-home opportunities
Work-from-home opportunities relate to the offer of opportunities to consumers such as typing, data capturing, filling in and addressing envelopes, filling in surveys, gathering of names and addresses and the compilation of data from a consumer’s home in exchange for a monetary consideration. Since 2011 99% of work-from-home opportunities have been outlawed by the South African Government.
Illegal Work-from-home opportunities include: Typing work, addressing envelopes of any kind, addressing (typing or writing) labels of any kind, filling of envelopes of any kind, administrative opportunities, compiling data and direct sellers of consumer goods that do not truthfully identify themselves, the firm and their products in any advertisements.
Legal work-from-home opportunities include: Typing work requested by the purchaser of such a service (such as the typing of assignments required by learners and/or students), the direct selling of consumer goods (in which a sales person either demonstrates the product or represents a product catalog in homes, the workplace or in similar places away from shops), collecting orders, subsequently delivering goods personally or arranging delivery, collecting payment for goods or arrangement for payment or credit transactions and a person-to-person selling party plan which sells multilevel marketing and network marketing. Direct sellers are required to truthfully identify themselves, the firm and their products in their adverts.
Being involved in an illegal work-from-home opportunity is a criminal offence and is punishable by a fine not exceeding R200,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or both a fine and imprisonment. Should you require any additional information or clarification you can contact Faith Mashikinya on 012 394 1308 or Narain Kuljeeth on 012 394 1515.
Well, there you have it, 3 common scams targeting job seekers in South Africa. We trust that you find this information useful. Spread the word about this by sharing this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is Caring.
If you have been a victim of a scam feel free to comment on this article and let us know about your ordeal. If you have any scam related queries, feel free to contact our consultant via firstname.lastname@example.org.