Jobs for sale scam busted

2013-09-19 00:00

CONMEN preying on desperate jobseekers managed to pocket R70 000 by “selling” jobs at R5 000 each before being stopped in their tracks by the police.

To sweeten the deal, the eThekweni Metro’s name was dragged into the case, with the suspects indicating that they could secure jobs at the metro in exchange for the cash.

According to police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker, the pair, aged 41 and 58 years, were arrested in kwaMashu north of Durban after convincing 14 victims that paying the money would secure jobs for them or their children.

According to the municipality’s records, over 40% of the township’s residents are unemployed.

The police said the men presented themselves as representatives of the metro, and said they had ways to place their recruits in vacant posts. The suspects have been tracked since June. “It was a case of word-of-mouth marketing. Jobseekers were not suspecting anything.”

Naicker said one of the men allegedly approached a woman in her home, promising a job for her daughter in the municipality if she paid R5 000.

The woman was told they had 65 vacancies available, and asked to spread the news. Those who paid over money expected to start work on June 18.

Naicker said the high level of unemployment has opened an opportunity for bogus recruitment agencies.

He said the police always warn people not to pay any money in exchange for jobs.

“There are a number of cases when people are tricked to pay money to get employment. The victims should understand that are also committing a crime when paying money for jobs.”

Municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said the municipality welcomes the arrest of people who take advantage of poor people’s vulnerability.

He said the municipality was aware of several similar cases.

“We continue to warn people not to be duped by con artists. There are proper recruitment policies that people need to follow when applying for jobs. We advertise the jobs and applications are handled by our human resources department,” he said.

• More than 35 000 people were called to attend fitness tests held over two days in December last year, to fill 90 posts for trainee traffic officers with the KZN Transport Department Road. Eight people died after taking part in the fitness tests in searing heat.

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