Unscrupulous Recruitment Agencies
Unscrupulous recruitment agencies are companies, organisations or individuals who run their businesses illegally, posing as recruiters and promising employment / job opportunities to people seeking employment.
The increase in job losses in South Africa has created a fertile ground for unscrupulous agencies / fake recruiters to take advantage of unsuspecting desperate job seekers luring them into fake schemes with the promise of employment only to rob them of their money.
The Department of Labour gives clear guidelines of what to expect when dealing with a reputable recruitment agency or what you need to look out for, please click on the links below to find out more:
How to Spot an Unscrupulous Agency
- Avoid any jobs requiring a commitment fee, caution fee, processing fee, test fee, allocation fee or placement fee - it's highly likely that it could be a scam. You will be asked to pay a certain amount of money.
- Look out for an obscure email address, badly designed company website with no traceable phone number or address; this should raise red flags. Some companies go as as far as approaching job seekers via email and offering them a job in another country.
- Watch out for "Work-at-home" and money transfer opportunities. Here, payment processing positions are most likely to be scams designed to obtain a job seeker's bank account details in order to steal money from them.
- Watch out for agencies that guarantee commissions or big earnings - This is a big red flag. The job offered is usually purposely vague and designed to entice a low-income job seeker with the promise of massive earnings. Be very skeptical of any plan that ever uses the terms "guaranteed" and "lots of money" in the same sentence.
- Watch out for companies that promise you that you will "Get rich quick" - These scams entice job seekers with the "passive income" opportunity. The more absurd the offer, the higher the odds are that it's a scam. The only people getting rich are the ones selling these plans!
To avoid being a victim of an unscrupulous recruitment agency
Visit the South African Department of Labour career centre nearest to you or visit and register on the department of Labour's Employment Services of South Africa (ESSA).
With the ESSA online system an individual looking for employment and learning opportunities can register and then login to search the database for available opportunities and apply for them.
If you suspect that a particular recruitment agency is making use of illegal or unethical tactics you can report them at the Department of Labour on this contact number: 086 6002 2194.