By Claudette Groenewald

With the recent increase of employment being added to many economies around the globe, more people are

re-entering the workforce and looking for new opportunities in the working industry. Scam artists are also looking for new opportunities, therefore, jobseekers should be on high alert when it comes to employment scams. Employment scams have been on the rise since the onset of the pandemic and scam artists have been taking advantage of defeated jobseekers.

Employment scams come in plenty different forms; however, they typically involve tricking you into giving out your personal information or request you to send money to an illegitimate employer, they typically use the words “admin fee” which is payable by yourself and will not be taken off any salaries and/or bonuses. 

In most cases, scam artists will imitate real organizations or create an entirely fake / non-existent company with a website that looks like a legitimate website.  

Oftentimes, the scam artist will find your information from job search engines such as Careers24, LinkedIn or Indeed and reach out stating that you are the perfect candidate for a position that they need filled immediately or they will claim that your job application has been successful and will even go as far as giving you a salary amount, however, you’ll note that they never mention the company you will be working for and they also do not provide you with any contact details such as a contact person or contact number as “this goes against their company policy”.

These job opportunities often look appealing, offering a high salary or the chance to work from home. The scam artists will ask for sensitive information, such as a picture of your driver’s licence / ID document, social media account links, bank account information, which are common pieces of data needed to complete the hiring process – so the opportunity may not seem out of the ordinary, however, what you should keep in mind is to never give this type of information out before being invited to attend an official interview whether it be via Zoom, Teams or a physical face to face meeting.

The newest venue for employment scams has been on social media sites including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Scam artists create fake profiles, post job advertisements to share them on these platforms. It’s important to verify that social media accounts are genuine before clicking any links on their posts to apply for any employment positions, no matter how attractive they may look.

They have also started sending out emails explaining that you have been selected or have been successful in your application, however, we urge you to diligently read through the email as no company will EVER ask you to pay for a job, they might request that you conduct your own background screening, as this may be for ease of reference to them.


  • Scam artists request sensitive information before giving you the official job offer, or before hosting a face-to-face interview,
  • You receive an email, phone call or text message for a job you didn’t apply for, 
  • You would be able to pick up on spelling and grammar mistakes,
  • They contact you via an email that would match the company domain such as Gmail accounts,
  • They ask you to provide money or to deposit and transfer money to them as an admin fee,
  • The job offers usually include a high salary for minimal effort,
  • They do not supply you with any contact details for further information,
  • They tend to ignore any emails sent to them in response to the initial email sent to you,
  • They do not give you enough lead time to conduct said background verifications and claim that a Police Clearance certificate does not “count” as an official criminal record check.

When a job offer seems too good to be true, it probably is!


  • Do research on the company before applying for the job, 
  • Call the company using the listed number found on the website instead of the number they provide in the email or text message, 
  • Check to see whether the job offer is posted anywhere on their website,
  • Ask for references from people who have done the same job,
  • Never transfer money to someone else or send an up-front payment to an employer,
  • Never send out sensitive documents such as ID documents, proof of Qualification certificates etc.,
  • Look out for spelling and grammar mistakes,
  • Check to see if there is any form of company identification present in the email or text message received,
  • If there is no response to your email sent to them, there is a HIGH possibility of it being a scam.

Be safe out there!

Yours sincerely,

Searchlight Background Screening & Criminal Record Checks

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