How to identify fake jobs

December 2, 2020 in Advice & Tips

Finding work in South Africa is a daunting experience, particularly that the unemployment rate is at an all-time high of 30.1 per cent. Therefore, the last thing job seekers need is to be scammed of their hard earned money or time.

Why are people trying to scam job seekers?

Oddly enough this is how the scammers make their money, it could be described as their (illegal) job. Either a scammer tries to get job seekers to pay a registration fee, they sell your personal information or other ways detailed below.

How to identify fake jobs:

On a positive note, once job seekers know what warning signs to look for it is easy to sift through jobs and separate what’s a job scam and what is legitimate.

Do your Research

Research the company involved. Check out the company’s website (if it exists), check if the contact numbers match up to what is on the job post.

Email Address

If the email address on the job post uses a non-company domain or free email service like Gmail, Hotmail etc that’s a major red flag that should stop you from applying for the job in the first place.

Registration Fee

“You’ve got the job, pat yourself on the back and now the final step is to pay the registration fee.”

Registration Fee? This is another common telltale sign of a fake job. If the company requires you to pay for the ability to apply it should raise major red flags.

Once the ‘prospective employee’ has paid a registration fee into the bank account of the ‘company’, the scammer would have disappeared with the money.

No Experience Required

If a job advertisement sounds too good to be true, for example, the ad description promises a high salary while requiring little to no experience and if the communication with the company representative makes you feel as if you already have the job then be wary. The scam artist knows how to butter up the target, ensuring that the job seeker handover their personal information without question.


Another red flag is presented when an advertisement or representative insists that you fax your CV to them – fax in this day and age?


Scammers use premium rated fax numbers that earn them money from each fax sent, whilst the job seeker ends up losing a fortune in telephone calls.

Location, location, location!

“You’ve sent your CV through and have successfully made it through to the interview phase. Congratulations!”

However, the job seeker notices that the interview location to meet the employer is in an obscure area; far away from where the actual company headquarters is situated.

This should set off some major warning bells as there have been many cases of human trafficking syndicates using job ads to capture their targets.

How can I verify a company is legitimate?

Many job scammers pretend that they represent a well-known company such as Eskom, Transnet, Absa and Standard Bank. This wins the trust of unsuspecting job seekers. In these cases, the best thing to do would be to call up the company referenced to confirm the job listing with them.

Use the above information wisely to stay one step ahead of the scammers!