Job hunting scams awareness tips

There are currently thousands of job seekers actively seeking employment using online portals in South Africa. Unfortunately, with this trend comes the opportunity for criminals to exploit job seekers with fake job offers as a way to extract personal information and bank details.

Here are some tips and insights to avoid these scammers so that you may safely seek the job you want. 

Look out for common red flags   

Job scammers sometimes make common errors that should be recognized as “Red Flags” which will alert you to a possible fraudulent job offer. These common errors include grammar or misspelling errors in job ads, but more so the contact email address is not the primary domain of the organization. For example, a job ad that uses a gmail.com or yahoo.com email address should for the job seeker raise a concern. 

Other clues that the job offer may not be legitimate include ads that require you to pay cash as a deposit for giving you access to the job offer, or to pay cash for medical or security clearances that may be required for the job. A legitimate job offer will never place you in a position that you will need to part with money upfront for the career opportunity.  

Be careful of jobs that request your bank account information

There are many job scams in which the applicant is requested to accept payment to his or her bank account. The Modus operandi (mode of operating) of these Payment-transfer scammers is to extract personal and banking information from the unsuspecting job seeker. These scammers will go to the extent of using existing legitimate company logos which they have stolen to convince the job seeker that they are legitimate employers.  

Always be wary of jobs that request information or personal details beyond what is usually contained in your resume, and as a guide, you should never give out your bank account details before being offered a job. Always research the company (website, contact details, addresses, etc) before applying for the job.

Post your resume on legitimate websites

The increasing danger of identity theft or someone posing as an employer to gain an applicant’s data are good reasons to post your resume on legitimate websites that have disclaimers which state they will protect your privacy and personal information. Many criminals target genuine job hunters and obtain their particulars through the information that a job seeker may submit. Their intent may be to spam the job seeker with business opportunities – which are more often than not; fictitious and illegal pyramid marketing schemes.

Never include your home address, phone number, or date of birth on resumes. Rather provide this information in general terms such as the area or town you live in, provide an email address instead of a telephone number and never provide your identity number until such time you have met the employer and you are satisfied that the job offer is real. 

Check with reliable sources

Research the company’s credibility and complaint record on other platforms such as Facebook, local consumer complaint portals, the Chamber of Commerce, or institute bodies.

Remember the golden rule when job hunting, never divulge personal and financial information on the phone, email,  or over the internet until such time you have been through the interview process and you are satisfied that the company is legitimate and the job offer is real.  

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