Many job seekers fall victim to the scams and if one is not cautious, they can easily be lured just go with it.
Cape Town – With the unemployment rate at its highest point in years, desperate job seekers are falling prey to fraudulent job postings that falsely claim to provide permanent work, further aggravating their frustration at a time when they need it the most.
Platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are filled with pages and ads for vacant positions that do not exist, and at times, vacancies are presented in such a convincing manner that it is not always easy to identify them as scams.
Internet Cafe owner Akefe Mvuziza said that while working at the cafe, he has witnessed many job seekers fall victim to the scams and if one is not cautious, they can easily be lured just go with it.
“I remember I was approached by a lady at my shop and she showed me an SMS that she received allegedly from Transnet with a reference number. I got the number and I checked with my Truecaller app and the number was indeed registered as an HR at Transnet but I still had my reservations. Upon further investigation, I found that the site was not legit.”
“These are very vulnerable times for everyone, because they are all in the hunt for something and it is sad to see this happen to job seekers when they come to use the cafe’s services. I always remind my client that these scams, one will never know and they need to go to all lengths possible to make sure it is legitimate. A job will never ask you to pay anything so once that comes up, that’s the first red flag that should be alarming,” said Mvuziza.
Private investigator Willem van Romburgh said that scammers are getting more creative and unfortunately, our generation is making it easier for them.
“The age-old rule (as with everything) applies – if it is too good to be true, it normally is. Scammers are getting more and more creative. Unfortunately, our generation is making it easier and easier for them. How do we make it easier for them, we click on links, not checking where a link would take us and we supply them with information, which we know is dangerous.”
“Every person has a profile. Banks and other credit service providers use the profile’s credit score to decide whether to lend us money or not. Scammers are after those profiles. With the profile they can obtain credit (and use it without you knowing). This is where the term “identity theft” comes from. They steal your identity. This they do with all sorts of weird and wonderful methods, but in most cases they need access to your electronic devices. Obviously clicking on any strange link, would allow them the opportunity to inconspicuously load monitoring software. The next time you type in your online banking password, they have it.
“For preventative measures, do not click on any links. It might take you somewhere where visibly there are no problems, but in the background monitoring software is being loaded. Do not provide your personal information to anyone unless you call them. If someone calls you and wants to confirm your details, ask them to do it via email. (Make sure they mail comes from them) and lastly do not provide anything via apps like WhatsApp, etc. Scammers use SIM cards (required for WhatsApp) to defraud someone and then throw it away. In most cases the SIM cards are not registered to them and finding the scammer is almost impossible,” said Van Romburgh.