Scams on the rise as South African jobseekers grow more desparate to find work
As the unemployment rate in South Africa continues to increase, desparate jobseekers are falling victim to a growing number of scams that promise employment in exchange for money but never deliver on this promise.
In a recent survey conducted by Giraffe, the mobile recruitment agency platform that helps jobseekers find work, almost one in three jobseekers claimed to have been victims of scams.
The scams range in variety and complexity. Some simple scams ask jobseekers to fax their application form to a premium-rated fax number. The application form is so long that the jobseeker spends as much as 40 rands to send the fax. Other scams involve sending many text messages to premium rated numbers.
However, the most elaborate scams come in the form of training courses. Scammers ask jobseekers to pay hundreds of rands to attend a training course, usually in office admin or call centre. These training courses are fake and do not actually teach any useful information. Upon passing the course, jobseekers are promised jobs if they pay even more money. In fact, there are no jobs and the whole operation is a money-making scheme.
“Jobseekers are so desparate to find work that they will do anything to get a job and are therefore easy targets for unscrupulous scammers,” lamented Shafin Anwarsha, Head of Product at Giraffe.
Giraffe offers jobseekers these tips to avoid becoming victims of scams:
- Beware of any agency that uses a gmail, hotmail, yahoo or other generic email address. They are usually scams. Legitimate agencies will have a proper email address
- Do not trust any agency that asks you to fax your CV or application form
- Always check the agency’s website. Scammers will never have a proper website
- If an agent asks you for money, they are a scam
- Be careful of agencies that ask you for money for training courses. These are almost always scams
Despite the large number of scams, there are many legitimate, reputable organisations that genuinely help jobseekers to find work. Giraffe is a fully automated recruitment agency that connects medium-skilled jobseekers with opportunities in retail, admin, call centre, manufacturing and many other industries. Giraffe NEVER asks jobseekers for money.
Since launching their recruitment agency service in Johannesburg, Gauteng in early 2015, Giraffe has invited over 8,000 jobseekers for interviews and placed candidates with hundreds of companies.
Although Giraffe’s low-cost recruitment agency service is currently operating only in Johannesburg and Pretoria, the company plans to expand to the rest of South Africa in 2016.