Job scams on the rise, targeting the desperate

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File Photo:

Published Jun 11, 2022


Pretoria - As more South Africans are desperate to find jobs, scammers are also meticulously cultivating more ways of getting even the last cent from vulnerable and unsuspecting job seekers by promising fictitious job opportunities.

With technology advancing and social media taking up space on the internet, scammers are also growing with the same pace and wit.

The most recent scam is now on TikTok, there’s an account @thejobplugsa which posts different vacancies especially from retail stores.

The account is cunning, the scammers post videos from different companies with employees working and wearing their uniforms; from an unsuspecting eye, the videos look legitimate. It seems like the videos are sourced from companies’ websites.

*(Not real name) Lebogang Skhosana, 26, from Soshanguve, applied for an admin position posted on the same TikTok account. The advert was looking for 100 admin assistants at Imperial Logistics.

“The process was so easy, I just went to the website they had provided on their short video. I filled in a form. After completing the form, they provided me with an email address to send my CV,” he said.

Skhosana said after a week, he received an SMS saying his application has been approved.

“The SMS came with a link and when I opened the link, there were long instructions on what I should do before coming for induction; that worried me a bit, that I was already going for induction without even going for an interview.

“The instructions also said I must send R250 at Pep which is for background check and Covid-19 test. They said the fee is refundable and it will be returned on my induction day and I will also get transport allowance.

“It all sounded too good to be true, but you know when you are desperate, you sometimes don’t even see the red flags.”

Skhosana said he failed to send the R250 after realising that the link sent by SMS was broken.

“I wanted to retrieve an address where I had to send proof of payment and the link could not open.”

When you apply to any of the advertised position, the scammers will respond to your application after a week with an SMS informing you that your application has been approved.

When IOL inquired about the R250 fee from Imperial Logistics, the company said its recruitment process does not include unsolicited offers of employment and does not require any form of payment from candidates - either before, during or after the recruitment process.

“Imperial will only contact you if you have applied for a vacancy through the careers website, our LinkedIn page or if you were contacted by one of our authorised recruitment personnel or local recruiting offices,” the company said in its reply.

City of Tshwane job scam

The City of Tshwane has also cautioned the public against a job advertisement on Facebook by an individual claiming to be a manager at Tshwane.

“According to the Facebook post, the applicants are asked to pay R1 050.00 for medical tests and R2 000.00 for reference number in order to secure the job.

“The City wants to state categorically that this is a scam and residents should not fall victim to it,” the municipality said in a statement.

The City told job seekers that vacancies within the municipality are advertised through the job forum which gets posted on the Tshwane website at

Post Office scam

The Post Office has also been targeted. Scammers are misleading the public by sending an SMS or an email informing them about a package which they have to collect and to get it they should send money to “release” the package. By sending the money, victims will share their credit card details or pay money into their fraudulent account.

Scammers are misleading the public by sending an SMS or an email informing them about a package which they have to collect and to get it they should send money to “release” the package.

“The Post Office never asks for import duties or clearance fees in advance. If there are customs fees payable on a parcel from abroad, the client pays the fees when they collect the parcel from the Post Office counter or when delivered by a Post Office driver.

“The Post Office never requests your bank account number or an online payment for customs duties.

“The Post Office sends customers an SMS or a collection slip when they have a parcel waiting for collection at a post office branch. This parcel should be collected as soon as possible to make sure it is not returned to the sender,’’ the Post Office said in a statement.