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NWU Career Centre warns about an increase in job scams

According to the latest data released by Statistic South Africa, youth unemployment in South Africa currently sits at an alarming 46.3%. With so many people seeking employment, scammers have realised they can make a small fortune by preying on desperate job-seekers.

These scammers usually post fake jobs opportunities on various websites with the intention of soliciting money and sometimes even robbing individuals who were invited to the “job interviews”.

According to Thoriso Maseng, manager of the North-West University (NWU), the increase in employment scams can also be attributed to unregistered employment agencies that demand money in exchange for employment.

Thoriso says the Employment Service Act states that employment agencies are not allowed to deduct money from the remuneration of an employee or ask for money to place an employee with an employer.

“It is important that job-seekers understand that the law protects them and not to fall prey to such conduct,” he adds.

Hope Abrahams, information officer at the Career Centre, says there are a number of red flags that can help job-seekers identify if a job is a scam.

She says job-seekers need to be wary if the company does not have an online presence and/or a website where they can verify the vacant position.

Other red flags to look out for are if a recruiter’s email address does not end in the company’s official name, but rather refer to a Gmail or Yahoo account; or if the recruiter’s email address does not match the company’s email addresses.

She says another cause of concern is if the job advertisement has spelling or grammatical mistakes, or is typed in capital letters.

“Also be careful if the job description is very vague and you cannot tell from the advertisement what exactly you’ll be doing or what the company does.”

Hope adds that the biggest red flag of them all is if a job-seeker is asked to make a payment when applying for the vacancy, in order for his or her application to be considered.

“To further verify if a job advertisement is a scam or not, check if it has been posted on the company’s website, or call the organisation and ask about the vacancy or for the recruiter’s details. In most cases vacancies that are clear about what the job entails and what the company is all about, are legitimate,” says Hope.

Job-seekers can use the following websites to look for legitimate vacancies:

Pnet - https://www.pnet.co.za

Careers24 - https://www.careers24.com

CareerJunction - https://www.careerjunction.co.za

Student Village - http://www.studentvillage.co.za

Jobportal - http://www.jobportal.co.za

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com