Beware of Job Scams!

Unemployment is reportedly on the rise in South Africa. Before the Covid-19 Lockdown the official unemployment rate stood at 30.1 % in early March 2020, and currently during the #LockdownSA as more and more companies are in the process of retrenching more employees. This in addition to an already high unemployment rate and long queues for uncertain re-employment and UIF relief measures, the stark figures projected could reach 50 %.

With the bleak unemployment state and job seekers desperation to find employment trying to avoid poverty and starvation, chancers have apparently also seen an opportunity to scam job seekers. There have been complaints from job seekers who are allegedly requested to pay thousands of rands allegedly by imposters claiming to be contact people for advertised vacancies including those listed on social media.

 When applicants follow up by phone on the adverts to lodge applications, they are allegedly informed to deliver them to the contact person with amounts as much as R2500 to R4500.

One such investigation pertains to allegations of a buy-job scam on the advertised Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital vacancies. When enquiring at the hospital of the authenticity of the posted job vacancies with the electronic copy that looked like it was issued from Gauteng’s Department of Health bearing the department’s letterhead, culminated in a shocking discovery that the advertised vacancies were non-existent, nor did they issue an advert inviting applications. The job vacancies could also not get traced at the Department’s website even though the advert that was circulated through social media, directing prospective job seekers on how to apply with contact persons for inquiries looked realistic.

Nevertheless, the department’s website issues a stern warning advising that job offers accompanied by payment fees by applicants were not from the Department but a scam.

The scammers posted the jobs available at Baragwanath Hospital and other hospitals in the online job sites with the name and numbers of the contacts persons, whilst others claim to be Human Resources managers, promising to process the applications.

From this investigation and its findings including advise from reputable officials from the Labour Department, job seekers are urged to report illegal job postings and forward details of scammers attempting to extort money for jobs from people at a nearest police station.

The Department of Labour also advises that it is against the law in South Africa to require prospective employees to pay for job placements and such a practice indicates that it presents itself as a scam.

Dumi Mkhabela Soweto Sunrise News

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