How to avoid job scams?

The harsh reality that most South African youth are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic is unemployment. With over 50% of the nation unemployed, many families are struggling to make ends meet. Because of this, a lot of job scams have popped up online, promising false employment to desperate youth.

It can be tricky to tell when a job offer is real or just a scam. Not to worry, here are a few tips to help you identify a job scam.

You’re offered a job you didn’t apply for

Think about it, why would anyone go out of their way to offer you a job you didn’t apply for? Most people who are head hunted have years of experience in a specific field. However, if you’re new to the job market or don’t have a lot of experience, it’s not likely that a company or recruitment agency will offer you a job unless you’ve applied for it. So, if someone randomly contacts you on social media or anywhere else to offer you a job, it’s likely a scam.

You’re asked to pay a fee

If a recruiter asks you to pay a fee to apply for a job or to secure one, know that it’s a scam. Real job offers from real recruiters don’t require a fee because their job is to find people to place in specific positions.

Your personal details are asked for

If you’ve never heard of the employer offering this job and you can’t find them anywhere online, that job offer is definitely a scam. Remember that legitimate businesses are registered and if they offer jobs, they are required to comply with the employment act. Make sure you search online for a company if you’re invited to an interview. Look for a credible website or LinkedIn profile, as well as reviews from past and current employees. You also want to check Google Maps to see where the offices are situated so that you can ask around. If you don’t feel safe going to the place, then rather trust your instincts.

Jobs that don’t require any qualification or experience

If you search the internet for jobs, you’ll notice that they all require a minimum level of education and experience in that specific area of work. So, if this job offer doesn’t require any education, dig a little deeper and ask for more information about it. While there are positions that don’t require any related experience, it’s just good to check that they are legit before going to the offices.

You can check the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) website to find out if a company is registered. You can also look into the company’s contact details. An established company won’t send emails from a Gmail or Yahoo account, or call you from a cellphone line or unknown number. They will also have an address and full contact information on their website.

Remember that if a job offer sounds too good to be true, it’s likely a scam. I understand there is a pressing need to secure a job but you don’t want to waste your money and time, or risk your safety in the process. So, make it a habit to do thorough research of all the jobs you want to apply for. Always ask for more information if you don’t understand something and if you’re still not sure, send me a message so I can help you.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).