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Fake ad offers firefighting jobs to youth ‘without experience or matric’

An advert posted on the scam Facebook pageJobs learnership and bursary” claims to have firefighting jobs available for young people “without experience or matric”.

The ad tells job-seekers to comment on the post, giving their location, “to be sent an application form”. It gives a number code for each of South Africa’s nine provinces.

“If you can't apply online, please share this post in 10 groups that you've joined. The ones who shared a lot will receive a call as soon as possible,” the page says in the comments.

“Inbox us your phone number, then comment ‘Done’ after sharing this post in groups. Note that we're using a different system that help us identify those who shared our posts.”

The ad includes links that all lead to a blog post headlined “Firefighter Traineeship”. It gives information on a training programme in the Overberg District Municipality in the Western Cape province only.  

Matric needed for firefighter jobs

The Overberg municipality does currently have three vacancies for learner firefighters advertised in the careers section of  its website. The vacancies were also posted on the municipality’s official Facebook page on 8 July 2019.

But applicants are required to have a grade 12 qualification and a valid driver’s licence. So the “Jobs learnership and bursary” advert’s claim that the firefighting jobs are available to young people “without experience or matric” is false.

And the genuine ads tell job-seekers to pick up application forms from the municipality’s offices. It doesn’t ask for location or phone number, or say people must share the post to get details, as the fake ad does.

‘This is a fake ad’

The photos used on the fake ad show trucks with the logo for Working on Fire, a fire management agency run by South Africa’s department of environmental affairs.

Africa Check asked Olwethu Mpeshe, Working on Fire’s communication coordinator, about the advert.

“Be informed that is a fake ad,” he told us.

How to identify fake job ads

There are a number of ways to spot fake job ads online.

Red flags include the link provided not going to the company’s website or recruitment agency, grammar and spelling errors in the ad, and the ad asking you to pay a fee to get an  interview.

Other suspicious signs to look for include the email address or contact details being unrelated to the actual company, and being asked to go for an interview at a place that isn’t the company’s offices.

Recent fake job ads in South Africa ask willing job-seekers comment “Help” and share the advert on Facebook. Another sign is an ad saying no skills or experience are required. – Dancan Bwire


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