Recruitment Scams in South Africa

Recruitment Scams in South Africa

It is without a doubt that there are a large number of unemployed people in South Africa. All of which spend most of their time scanning classifieds or job portals and registering with recruitment agencies in pursuit of finding  a job. According to Statistics South Africa the unemployment rate during the fourth quarter of 2015 was 5.2 million. As outrageous as the number may seem there are scammers and fraudsters out there who have made the desperation of others the core of their elaborate schemes.


How is this achieved?

It occurs when fraudsters pose as a recruiter, offering enticing employment opportunities that require the job seeker to pay a certain fee in advance. Job seekers are mislead into believing that the required fee is for securing an interview, a guaranteed job, travel expenses, credit checks, administration costs or work visa. Once the money has been paid the recruiter disappears without a trace along with the money the job seeker managed to put together.


Irrespective of the fraudsters’ technique, the objective is always the same; to leave individuals penniless with no job or obtain personal confidential information for their own endeavor. We read headlines in newspapers or electronic and digital media, on how people, from the newly qualified graduates to the unemployed and uneducated, fall prey to job scams. By law, it is illegal for any recruitment agency to charge any fees in return for recruiting. The problem is, these fraudsters are becoming more creative in the way they target individuals and  run their operations.

One can never be taught how to handle such a misfortune, however you can avoid being scammed by looking at the following:

  • Google the telephone number, fax number or company name to see if they exist (some advertisers do not list the name of the company in the advertisement)
  • Look into the recruitment agency’s name and profile.
  • Consider getting a full job description from the company’s website.
  • Be careful of Call Centre advertisements that offer free training with a promise of a job at the end of the training.  What they don’t tell you is that once you start working, the cost of the training is deducted off your salary
  • Never provide financial information  before hand.
  • Be particularly careful when responding to an advertisement that calls for WhatsApp or SMS response.

A legitimate recruitment agency will not ask you to pay a registration fee or promise you  a guaranteed job.  If something seems out of place about the agency report it immediately to the  Department of Labour or your nearest South African Polices Services (SAPS).


We at Just the Job strive to be vigilant of the scam operations and when we detect them, we delete these scams from our site immediately. However, these scamsters pop up under all sorts of guises so feedback from our jobseekers is always appreciated.  If you ever feel that there is an advertiser on our site who is running a scam, the sooner you let us know, the quicker we’ll be able to take action.  You can send a mail to