Recruitment scams to avoid in 2024 as a job seeker

Despite the labour market showing signs of resilience with close to 2.5 million jobs added since the fourth quarter of 2021 South Africa’s official unemployment rate remains stubbornly high as uncertainty prevails. The sad reality of this is that South African job seekers are more desperate to grab employment opportunities that come their way.


Joanna Preston, Head of Young Talent at FNB Human Capital, says, “South Africa’s unemployment rate remains high amid a growing population. With this situation at hand, fraudsters and scammers will do anything to take advantage of people’s vulnerability. In this case, it’s the desperation of job seekers. We advise any job seeker to do their research, exercise caution and be aware of the recruitment scams that are prevalent.”

Preston shares a few tips that will help job seekers avoid becoming victims of these common recruitment scams:


  • Verify every job opportunity

People or companies can approach you via email, calls, or social media claiming to offer legit job opportunities. Sometimes, fake profiles are used to lure potential job seekers. Make sure that you verify every job opportunity you come across by doing proper research so that there’s certainty it is not a job scam.


  • Always double check the vacancy details and link provided

Most recruitment scammers will put out a job advert with spelling and grammar errors on their website. Before applying, always ensure that you carefully read through the details of the vacancy to spot any errors or inconsistencies. Many of the links provided on a job advert can be a way of gaining access to your personal information or banking app on your phone, laptop, iPad, or Tablet.


  • Check the interview location beforehand

It’s common practice for some companies to do telephonic screening and virtual interviews. Legitimate companies or recruitment agencies usually set up the first interview at their offices. Therefore, it is important to make the time to double check the location address before your interview or even go there to see if it is legitimate. If possible, try to have someone accompany you to the location and wait for you until the end of your interview. Listen to your intuition.


  • Never pay for any job opportunity

South Africa’s labour law suggests that job seekers having to pay money for a job is a legal offence. Never make any payments for a job.  Be very mindful and intentional about getting a job ethically so that your career is built on a genuine and solid professional foundation.


  • Never share your banking details

It’s usually standard procedure for companies to do a credit check once you’ve secured the job or opportunity. This is in accordance with National Credit Act, especially for job seekers that apply for a role they are interested in. A criminal record check is also done before confirming whether they will employ you or not. Look out for any person or company that will ask for your banking details for them to do a credit or criminal record check. That is illegal and should be a sign that you are likely to fall victim to a scam or identity theft.


"The mounting cost-of-living pressures, high unemployment rate, and prevailing economic uncertainty remain huge challenges facing many South Africans. The one thing that individuals have control over is not allowing any form of desperation to cloud their judgement when earnestly looking for a job," concludes Preston.