Look out for these warning signs
It is becoming more difficult to identify fraudulent job advertisements.
According to KC Makhubele, vice-president of the Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations (Apso), fraudsters are becoming more “professional” and pose as recruitment companies.
“There are cases where swindlers set up a fake website by imitating an existing legal job search website. Then the jobseekers are exploited in various ways – either by stealing their identity or by abusing their bank account for money laundering.”
On such a fake website, the jobseeker is led through a series of steps by email that eventually includes a request for the candidate’s personal information, such as his or her bank account number, driver’s licence and a copy of his or her ID or passport.
Other scams include asking the candidate to pay in advance for the false promise of making money “working from home” – for example, by capturing data or filling envelopes.
“Since 2011, 99% of all work-from-home schemes have been declared illegal,” says Makhubele.
He has appealed to South African companies to participate more actively in the regulation of the recruitment industry to prevent the exploitation of desperate jobseekers by false organisations.
“By only using agencies that comply with regulations and scrutiny by their peers in the industry, companies advertising vacancies can also do their part to close down the fake job agencies,” he says. Never pay to get a job – it is the clearest sign that the advertisement is a scam. Be wary of emails that promise overseas employment, especially when coming from an obscure email without a traceable physical address and telephone number. Advertisements for working from home or that promise any money transfers are a red flag. Do not provide your bank account details. “Guaranteed commissions” or promises of big profits are also a bad sign – note that the job description in this case is usually deliberately vague and designed to catch out desperate jobseekers lured by promises of massive earnings. Get-rich-quick schemes invite you to benefit from a “passive income opportunity”. As with all such cases, the more unbelievable the offer, the more likely it is a scam. Poor language use and spelling errors in the advertisement are a sign that you are probably dealing with fraudsters.