Job hunting scams are on the rise as thousands of people desperately seek employment. Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels
Job hunting scams are on the rise as thousands of people desperately seek employment. Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Job hunting scam red flags - this is what you should look out for

By Supplied Time of article published Dec 3, 2021

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Dineo Mashegoana

Unemployment has always been one of the most pressing socio-economic issues in South Africa.

Many job seekers are not well educated and do not have enough skills, which makes it difficult and lessens their chances of finding employment.

According to the latest stats, South Africa’s unemployment rate has hit a record high, climbing to 34.4% of the labour force in the second quarter of 2021.

Many people are desperate to find jobs but Covid-19 makes it hard to find employment because many companies have shut down while others have retrenched staff due to lack of funds. Finding a job amidst this pandemic is a nightmare.

Against this background employment scams including fake job listings have unsurprisingly been on the rise.

Scammers see an opportunity to target the vulnerable and they often use methods that appeal to what the unemployed need and desire most - a steady job and financial stability.

Online job searching is the way to go in the age of lockdown but the downside is that it’s getting easier for scammers to find new ways of taking advantage of unsuspecting job seekers.

And so more and nmore desperate job seekers are falling victims to fake employment offers. A cunning way in which job scammers operate is by creating a personal connection and building trust with their target.

The South African Fraud Prevention Services (SAFPS) has listed a 56% increase of new listings relating to fraud crimes in 2017, and confirmed that forged documents and employment application fraud are the highest in the category of complaints filed..

Red flags you should look out for when you are applying for a job or called for an interview.

∙ Unprofessional communication

∙ Questionable or unclear methods of contact

∙ Unclear job description

∙ You are asked for personal information right away

∙ You are asked to pay for medical checks

Here are ways you can protect yourself from online job scams

1. Do an online search before you apply for a job or go for an interview.

2. Never give away your personal or financial information to anyone.

3. Check with reliable sources if the company is registered.

4. Don't pay for the promise of a job.

5. Always verify your source of inquiry.

6. Check for spelling errors and grammatical inconsistencies.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on jobs and incomes, people are desperate to find jobs. However, it is also your responsibility as an individual to make sure you protect yourself from being scammed. When searching for a job do your research and make sure you use trustworthy job sites.

Always trust your intuition, If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Victims of online fraud can report incidents to SAPS, by writing a sworn affidavit. The SAPS will refer the matter to the cybercrime division.

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