Recruitment Scams and What To Look Out For

It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a real job posting online and a scam posting, but, if you’re careful with your job search and watch out for these red flags, you can easily start to spot the real from the fake.

At we screen each posting that comes through to stop those that might look a little fishy.

As a Job Seeker, you should not have to pay upfront for any admin fee or any other “application fee”. If something seems out of place about the company or agency please contact us immediately or report it to the  Department of Labour or your nearest South African Police Services.

When applying for any job vacancies on our website, or anywhere else for that matter, please keep the following in mind.

  1. Some websites pull through jobs posted on other recruitment or job websites. If you are directed to a website and are merely asked to enter your email address or other personal information, be wairy as these may be phising sites or they may just be collecting your information. By just providing your email address does not mean you have applied for the position, so beware there are a lot of these sites out there sending candidates on a wild goose chase. At freerecruit we put you directly in touch with the company by either providing a link to the companies online application form or a valid email address.
  2.  A legitimate employer will never ask for a admin or any other fee from a jobseeker / work seeker. (e.g Criminal Checks, Background Checks etc.) (THIS IMPLIES A SCAM/FALSE ADVERTISEMENT, AND IS AGAINST THE LAW)
  3.  A Recruitment Agency or Personnel Agency is NOT allowed to ask or charge any fee from a work seeker for securing employment. The Employment Services Act, 2014 (Act No. 4 of 2014), Clause 15 “Prohibits private employment agencies from charging work seekers any fees for services rendered”. Any Agency charging a fee from a work seeker for services is operating illegally and must be reported to the Department of Labour.
  4.  A legitimate company advertising a legitimate vacancy will NOT ask you to comment (yes, your location, address or any other details) on a post.
  5.  (Commonly used: “Comment YES if interested” or “Comment with your location and telephone number” – THIS IMPLIES A SCAM/FALSE ADVERTISEMENT)
  6.  A legitimate company will NOT ask you to Whats-app or inbox them via Facebook, but will request a CV for application by means of e-mail or fax or upload via their website.
  7.  A legitimate company will NOT post a job and indicate applicants to show up at a specific address without proper or prior application.
  8. A legitimate Government position will clearly indicate which Government Department, the position’s requirements and the remuneration offered. Usually a closing date for applications are indicated for Government positions.
  9. A legitimate position will NOT contain spelling errors in the post such as “Shere” instead of “Share”. (THIS IMPLIES A SCAM/FALSE ADVERTISEMENT)
  10. A legitimate company will NOT inbox you on social media, or provide you with any information on Facebook via your inbox, if you share the post. (Commonly used: “Share and we will inbox you the contact details” – THIS IMPLIES A SCAM/FALSE ADVERTISEMENT)
  11. A legitimate Business or Government organization will not provide a freemail email address (e.g gmail or yahoo for applications to be forwarded. (THIS IMPLIES A SCAM/FALSE ADVERTISEMENT)
  12. A legitimate Business or Government organization will have a legitimate website address and landline telephone number.If a position advertise a basic monthly gross salary, but with interview/appointment indicate that the position is commissioned based or based on a certain amount of work/sales before qualifying for the basic salary, it is unlawful and the company must be reported to the Department of Labour.
  13. A legitimate Business or Government organization will not contact you via a mobile phone number and ask you to pay upfront for any verification checks or admin fees. We have found a lot of scammers posting jobs on behalf of big organisations using a freemail account (gmail, yahoo etc.) and leaving a cellphone number to contact them on. These are fake jobs and you should not fall victim to these kinds of scams.
  14. A legitimate Business or Government organization will offer you an alternative way to apply for a job other than a fax number.
  15. A legitimate business or government organisation will not ask you to pay for a work permit.

International Jobs Offers

Please be extremely cautious with international job offers for the following reason’s:

  • It has become popular for drug traffickers to lure unsuspecting people into smuggling contraband into and out of countries.
  • Human trafficking is a major problem. Human traffickers coerce people in order to benefit from their work or service, typically in the form of forced labour or sexual exploitation.

If you are contacted by an international company for work abroad, please ensure that you conduct extensive research on the company and that:

  • The company is legit.
  • Registered with relevant authorities and certified by governing bodies, nationally and internationally.
  • Check their credentials.
  • Contact them on a landline.
  • Contact companies in the same area to find out if they actually exist. is a free online recruitment site for employers to post job vacancies and for job seekers to find the best jobs in South Africa. For peace of mind, search through all our legitimate job vacancies in South Africa to see if there are any current career opportunities that you would like to apply for. Remember that companies do post new jobs every day, so set up job alerts to be notified of any current job postings in South Africa.
As a jobseeker, you may Register your CV free. We have thousands of registered employer accounts who do not actively post online job vacancies but do search job seeker CVs and contact them directly.

If you are a recruiter or a company looking to fill a position, you may post jobs for free on our free online job posting site. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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