Six tips to avoid falling victim to fake job ads

By BR Reporter 1h ago

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BETWEEN March and October 2020, reports of fake job listings soared by 70%, according to SAFERjobs, a UK-based organisation that tracks employment fraud.

Criminals often use fake ads to con unsuspecting and desperate job hunters in South Africa too by charging “administration fees”, “upfront payments to secure employment” or asking for payment for “police clearance” checks.

“A convincing criminal, combined with a lack of healthy scepticism on the part of the victim, makes this kind of crime a frequent occurrence,” says Bianca De Beer, spokesperson for Dialdirect.

Dialdirect and CareerJunction offer the following advice to guard yourself against fake job adverts:

The legalities

The South African Skills Development Act, prohibits anyone from charging people for job placements. According to the law, only the amount of R1 is legally payable to an employment agency by job seekers to register and possibly be represented as a candidate.

Pay to register, for interviews or CV writing

The Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations states that “members shall not, directly or indirectly, charge any registration fees to applicants”. The same applies to online recruitment sites and job boards where a company is also not allowed to charge you for services if it’s dependent on you registering with them.

Don’t share banking details

It is illegal for recruitment companies to ask for your financial details in order to do a “credit/reference” check on you.

Jobs offers outside of SA

Check that the company offering the job is established, registered with relevant authorities and certified by governing bodies, both nationally and internationally.

Check the e-mail address

If the company advertising a job vacancy uses a personal e-mail address instead of their domain address, be wary and do your research. The domain or company name should appear after the @ symbol.

Too good to be true

High salary but minimal requirements and qualifications needed, then it’s probably too good to be true.

“The most important rule is to do your research. Rather be sceptical, take your time, apply the rules above and play our part in avoiding nasty surprises during your job hunting spree,” concluded De Beer.


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