Beware Job Scams: Avoid Frauds by Recognizing Red Flags in Job Advertisements

How to spot a job scam?


Guide on how to avoid and recognise job scams by recognizing red flags in the job market

Top tips on ways to spot a job scam

A job scam is when a person poses as an employer by placing an attractive job advertisement requiring a job seeker to pay a certain sum of money or to fax documentation to the said person or fax number provided. Once your payment or fax has been received, the scammer disappears, you are out of your money and still without a job.

Ways to spot a job scam:

Job advertisements or interviews requiring payment -  steer clear of adverts or interviews requiring payment. The law in South Africa states that no agency or employer may charge a job seeker to apply or find a position. This being said that should the “scammer” be smart enough to call you to a fake address and require you to take along cash, alarm bells should start ringing. Look after your own safety and steer clear, no legitimate recruiter will charge you to apply or register with their company.

Research the email address placed within the advert, 90% of the time scammers will use webmail accounts as yahoo or Gmail. It is important to note that some companies do use Gmail accounts and are legitimate and therefore it is important to conduct the necessary research.

When spotting a particular post that you may be interested in, research the company advertising the post, establish whether they have a legitimate website, do they have a contact number and when you phone who answers and what do they say? Compare the email address and telephone number provided on the advert to those on the website. Always check the source and ensure that the company is a legally registered company with CIPC.

Work from home jobs should be a big scam warning, many scammers are using this approach. Adverts of this nature would include statements as “fast growing company seeking individuals who would like to earn in the luxury of their own home, make up to R5000 per week working part time”. This type of scam is like a pyramid scheme will often expect you to part with your money to sign up and provide you with detail on how you can scam other desperate persons to part with their money.

When an advertisement only provides a fax number you should pay attention as we are in the modern era and very few companies still use fax for applications. Contact the advertiser and ask for an email address, chances are the number that you call does not exist. Ensure that fax is not the only form of communication. Modern recruiters would prefer your CV to be emailed, they will as a last resort accept a fax should you have no alternative way of submitting your CV.

Look out for poorly written adverts including spelling and grammar stating that no experience is required.

Be vigilant of where the adverts are being placed, recruiters will use large job portals which they have to pay annual subscription fees for. Many of adverts placed on free job portals should be scrutinized.

Social media job adverts stating that reputable companies are offering jobs at above market related salaries are often fake, research and verify that this organisation has in fact placed this advertisement

This list is only a few of the ways to spot a job scam, do research to protect your personal interests including your money and your identity. Human trafficking is a reality and it is essential to be cautious of who and where you submit your personal details to. Be safe, be aware and research.

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