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Protecting Yourself from Online Job Scams

By Mar 15, 2017 May 17th, 2017 No Comments

As most of us are well aware, the internet is as much a blessing as it is a curse. It can provide us with bucket loads of knowledge and the ability to connect with loved ones from afar… but it can also lead dangerous people to unsuspecting victims.

There are countless internet scammers out there and, unfortunately, they often target job seekers who are desperate to earn some extra cash. We take a look at two of the most recent and most talked about online job scams in South Africa, and provide you with some handy tips for protecting yourself from becoming an unwitting victim.

The SAA Cabin Crew Training Programme

In November of 2016, scammers targeted matriculants with an offer to join SAA for a cabin crew training programme. In order to apply for a position, the applicants had to submit their CVs using a personal email address and transfer an application fee.

Upon hearing of the scam, SAA quickly set the record straight, reminding the public that they never request an application fee and that they conduct all recruitment using their online recruitment system that requires applicants to register beforehand. Unfortunately, by this time, countless innocent job seekers had already been affected.

The SARS Learnership Programme

This scam is still in the process of unravelling and was only revealed as a scam in mid-February of this year. Again, unsuspecting individuals were being enticed by a bogus job offer, which was actually engineered to look pretty legit.

The email sent out to victims was SARS branded which, in itself, is enough to convince most people of its authenticity. Like most online job scams, an ‘administrative fee’ was requested, and payment details given for a Shoprite Money Market account, which SARS confirms is not a practice that they enforce. “Members of the public are reminded that SARS will never ask that a payment be made into any other account. SARS does not endorse commercial venues”, SARS reps stated.

How to Avoid Falling Victim

The general rule of thumb is that if a potential employer requests an application or admin fee from you, you are likely dealing with a scammer. Other warning signs to look out for include the following:

  • The ‘company’ contacts you directly – unless it is a small ‘company’ this will never happen
  • The pay seems too good to be true
  • You are offered the job without having to do much
  • The language or grammar is inconsistent in the emails which you receive
  • The emails have been sent to you by a personal email account and contain no contact information

In short, when looking for a job online, it pays to remain vigilant… and if ever you feel that something isn’t quite right, trust your gut, walk away and report your concerns. It just isn’t worth the risk.

Stay positive and true to yourself, keep looking and the job of your dreams might be just around the corner. You never know!

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