How To Avoid Job Scams

BE AWARE OF Job Scams!

Should you Pay?

The answer is always NO!

Asking a jobseeker for money is illegal in South Africa, so scammers use other traps to solicit money. To make it sound more legitimate, some even claim that the payments will be refunded with your first salary. If there is any form of payment involved, it is not a legitimate job.

Possible payment traps:

  1. Registration or administration fees – You should never pay for joining or registering with an employment agency, employer, or online job portal. The claim that a minimal fee is charged for administration and the paperwork involved in getting you registered is entirely untrue. There are ‘recruitment’ agents that will guarantee you an interview or a job in exchange for a payment and once the payment is made, you never hear from them again.
  2. ITC or background checks – If a potential employer or agent wants to run background checks on you, it must be done at their cost. They cannot claim this back from you, even with the promise of a job.
  3. Uniforms – Do not put down a deposit or pay anything before you are legally employed.
  4. Training – Whether it is a payment for training, training material, or online training, it is not legal.
  5. Visas or work permits – If the position you are applying for requires overboard travel, the employer may claim that you must pay for them to apply for your visa or work permit.

The list goes on … but the bottom line is, do not pay!

Also, be cautious about positions offered to you from outside South Africa. If you are not using an established company to help you find a job in another country, be extra careful. It has become common practice for people to be lured into smuggling drugs in and out of countries, the pay is very good but not only is it breaking the law, but it is also very dangerous. Human trafficking is also on the rise with very real-life-or-death situations, especially for young adults who are promised modeling contracts and photo shoots. Investigate the company offering you the job, do research, check social media and if something doesn’t look right, rather walk away.

Always go with your gut instincts, if something looks too good to be true – it is probably fake.

Scammers will do almost anything to get your attention and lure you in. Unfortunately they prey on the vulnerable and desperate jobseeker who may overlook the finer details just to get a job.

Telltale signs to look out for:

  1. If you receive a message stating that you were shortlisted for a job you haven’t applied for. Even if the message says that you were referred by a friend, without having sent a CV – this is highly unlikely.
  2. Without an interview, you are sent a contract or application form asking for personal information – especially bank account details, do not respond
  3. Be mindful of verbal agreements and an eagerness for you to start immediately. Before you start, get a letter of appointment or contract that contains all your employment requirements. You need physical evidence of employment so the company can be held responsible if you are not paid after the first month or asked to leave for no apparent reason.
  4. Be wary of inflated salaries, unrealistic commissions, or added perks that are not usually associated with your specific job title. These may include free trips, gifts, vouchers, or cash incentives.
  5. Get rich quick schemes that promise a successful home business that brings in big money. This will usually involve you buying something to kick-start your business and once you’ve paid, you either never hear from them again, or you get a brochure on building a pyramid scheme business. Any form of pyramid or Ponzi business is illegal in South Africa.
  6. They will also use a free email service provider, or a cellphone number for you to call or WhatsApp. Legitimate employment agencies or HR staff will very rarely give out their cellphone number. There are also no traceable links – no websites, no social media pages, no corporate email.

Examples could be:

– or, and definitely a scam 

– “Coca-cola company driver’s Needed082 xxxx 401. CONTACT HR MANAGER BEFORE YOU APPLY ON 082 094 5401 Coca-Cola company looking for Workers 

– Positions Available: Administration clerk, Receptionist, Office admin, General work, Driver C1, Driver EC, Forklift  Drivers, Security guards, Assistant driver, Laundry Cleaner, Stockpacking. For more info call Mr sthole on 082 xxxx 401 Online applications are not allowed”

As South Africa’s unemployment rate rises, so do criminal activity.

Fake jobs and job scams are designed to lure vulnerable and desperate job seekers into paying for interviews or paying for guaranteed job placement. Once the money is paid over to the ‘employer‘, you never hear from them again and are unable to contact them.

Criminals also place false job adverts with the intent of gathering personal information, which they use to invite you for fake interviews or to place in a database, which they sell. Scammers cleverly make use of recognisable company names to gain your attention and some even use the company logo in their adverts.

The current trend in SA is using company names such as:
Coca Cola, Lonmin Mines, Ashanti Gold, Clover, Royal Bafokeng, BMW Rosslyn Plant, Transnet, Albert Luthuli Hospital, Samcor Ford, Zanokhuhle Private Hospital, Jubilee Hospital, Dischaba Platinum Mine, Ekurhuleni Municipality, Steve Academic Hospital, Sebokeng Regional Hospital, Impala Platinum Mine, Kusile Power Station, Kalafong Hospital and Tembisa Hospital to name a few.

Be careful: 

  1. When applying for jobs abroad or on cruise liners, investigate the company first on the internet – people have been tricked into smuggling drugs and there is also the danger of human trafficking.
  2. Do not meet someone in a remote spot or after hours. If the interview is genuine, you should meet at a business address or if they are a small company, then perhaps meet in a public place, like a coffee shop.
  3. Be watchful of job adverts that advise you to arrive for interviews being held on a certain day, especially when based in a city centre.
  4. If you are unsure of the address, perhaps take a trip beforehand with a companion to get a better idea of where you are meeting.
  5. When you are contacted for an interview, try to gather as much information as you can about the company and the interviewer – a landline no, a physical address, a company website, the interviewer’s position in the company. This way you will be able to contact the company and verify the information.

We strive to ensure that only genuine adverts are posted on our website and we will continue to be watchful on your behalf.

Stay safe!