How to spot a job scam: Seven red flags to look out for when looking for employment

These are all the things to look out for when looking for a job. Picture: File

These are all the things to look out for when looking for a job. Picture: File

Published Apr 29, 2022


Durban - The South African job market is rife with scams. Those who seek employment are bombarded with bogus postings that demand either money or private information.

With a dismal 35.3 percent unemployment rate in the country, desperate people looking for jobs can fall victim to this.

Here are seven things to look out for when looking for a job to avoid scams:

1. The recruiter asks for a payment.

A potential employer will never ask you for payment of any sort.

Scammers lure people looking for work by asking them to pay for application fees, interviews, and for other fictitious reasons.

A legitimate recruiter will simply ask you to show up, and request information on your qualifications and job experience.

2. Unprofessional communication.

The days of using only super-high-brow English may be over, but communication from an organisation in search of potential employees has remained formal.

Pay attention to the response you may have received from some companies; check the tone, grammar, spelling and punctuation.

3. Confidential information requested.

In this digital age, we barely have privacy. It is common for companies to request your address, employment information and education level.

However, this can be highly suspicious if it comes from an organisation you have applied for, if you have not gone through the recruitment process of being interviewed and vetted by them.

Never give out your personal information, as this can be sold to scammers.

4. There is no contact information for the company.

Companies, no matter how small, have their contact information online.

If you conduct some research and find no trace of the organisation you have applied to, it is highly likely that you have applied for a position at a “ghost” company.

5. Vague/ broad job description.

A posting of a job should be clear and highlight all the key points of the work a potential candidate will undertake.

Those who scam job seekers post vague requirements and job descriptions in order to catch as many unwitting victims as possible.

6. Being offered the job immediately.

Recruiters go through dozens, or even hundreds of applications before settling on those that will move on to the interview phase.

If you apply and receive a job offer right away, there might be something fishy going on.

Your qualifications, experience and other achievements may be stellar, but you still need to exercise caution before proceeding.

7. Extremely high pay for a junior/mid level position.

It is obvious that some careers pay more than others; however, if the salary on offer is unbelievably high, it may be too good to be true.

We all want well-paying jobs, which makes this a very easy scam. Conduct research on how much the average salary is for someone in your field, with your level of experience.

However, do not pass up a great opportunity because of being overly cautious.

As the previous points have stated, look into the company, call them, and confirm that they do indeed have that specific job advertised with that salary.

IOL Wealth

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