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With our unemployment rate currently sitting at 32,9% (among the highest in the world), it’s no surprise that South Africans are desperate for work. Scammers are taking advantage of this by pushing ever more crafty job scams, playing on their victims’ emotions, vulnerabilities and lack of knowledge. Here are Scorpion’s 4 ways to spot a job scam.
They can disguise it as a number of things – asking you to pay a fee upfront for supposed application processing, background checks, recruiting fees, fees for work equipment, uniforms, courses or manuals, an admin fee, job training or for the interview itself – whatever they are asking you to pay for, it is illegal and it is a scam. No legitimate employer will ask you to pay for anything in order to secure a job.
Even more disturbing are incidents where job applicants are asked for sexual favours in exchange for a job. This is blatantly illegal, and should be reported.
Scammers may request your banking details, saying that they need them in order to do a ‘background’ or ‘credit’ check on you. This is a lie, and it is illegal. The only time an employer should request your banking details is for payroll reasons, and this is only when you have signed your employment contract with the company. It is important to note that reference, credit and background checks do not require your banking details. Even for payment purposes, no one but you should know your pin, banking access password or any OTP the bank may send to verify a transaction. Never give these details out, as they give people access to your bank account and money. Anyone who asks for them is trying to scam you.
Check the email address of the person communicating with you. Legitimate employers will contact you from a business address, and not from their personal email account. Scammers often also try to incorporate business names into their email address to make themselves seem more legitimate.
For government jobs, .gov.za is the official domain of the South African government. They will never mail you from a Gmail account. If they do, it’s probably a scam.
Legitimate, reputable businesses will be easy to find online. If you have trouble finding their website and contact details or the numbers aren’t working when you try call, watch out. Do a little research before communicating with them. Google the business, see if you can find reviews of people or other businesses that have actually worked with this company. If you can’t, it’s probably a scam.
Beware of dodgy-looking physical business premises as well – being sent to an apartment building or rundown building is a red flag. If you show up at an address for an interview and something doesn’t feel right about the location, rather leave.
You may also be interested in:
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Got a legal question for us? Ask it at the next Scorpion Live Q&A (every first Thursday of the month from 11:30-13:30) on the Scorpion Legal Protection Facebook page where you can get free legal advice – you don’t have to be a member.
* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 25 May 2023
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