Common Employment Scams in South Africa

At Indeed, our mission of helping people get jobs includes working proactively to keep predatory content out of search results. We have several teams across the globe dedicated to the safety and authenticity of the jobs posted on our platform, but we also feel that it’s important to educate job seekers during their search. 

Here are some employment scams commonly found in South Africa to be aware of when searching for a job: 

Pay to work scams

In these scams, bad actors posing as legitimate employers charge jobseekers fees without offering an actual job in return. Often, these individuals tell job seekers to come to a physical location for an interview. When they arrive, jobseekers are charged some type of fee. The fees are often explained as recruiting fees or fees for work equipment, uniforms, courses, or manuals. In the end, there are no jobs offered. The locations used for conducting such interviews are usually temporarily leased offices. 

Not only is charging job seeker fees against Indeed’s Job Posting Best Practices, it’s also illegal in some countries. In South Africa for example, the law says: “No person may charge a fee to any work seeker for providing employment services to that work seeker.”

SMS scams

In an SMS scam, job seekers are sent a message telling them to text a word or phrase (such as JOB) to a specific phone number to accept the offer of an interview or learn more about the job. The job seeker is then billed by their phone carrier at a higher-than-normal rate for having sent the text messages. In the end, there’s no interview or job.  

Fax scams

In a fax scam, fake recruiters instruct job seekers to fax their CV to complete a job application. However, these recruiters don’t actually have a job to offer. The fax number is set up to incur charges far beyond the standard rate. For every page job seekers send over, the fake recruiter receives money. The fraudulent fax numbers usually begin with 086, however many companies use 086 fax numbers legitimately. 

We advise that all job seekers exercise caution in their job search and do their own research about the roles and companies to which they’re applying. For additional safety tips, please visit our Guidelines for Safe Job Search page. 

If you have any concerns about a job you find on Indeed, or receive any job offer communication that concerns you, please contact Indeed immediately.   

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