IN SHORT: A Facebook page offers jobs and training in the government department that runs South Africa’s prisons, and says people can apply on the websites it links to. But all the websites really offer are lots of ads that earn the scammers money.
If you’re looking online for a job in South Africa’s prisons department, you won’t have any luck on the Facebook page Correctional Services Learnerships and Jobs.
It’s a scam.
The department of correctional services runs the country’s prisons system.
The Facebook page is regularly updated with ads for training and jobs.
A post published 22 August 2023 on the page reads:
DCS Correctional Services NQF Level 4 Learnership
Stipend: R4000 per month
Duration: 24 months
Grade 10 or Grade 12
No prior related Learnerships completed.
NQF stands for national qualifications framework, which grades skills and education in South Africa.
The post adds that the closing date is “Not Specified”, but it does give a link to a website where people can supposedly apply.
The post ends with: “If You are interested ‘Send Message’ and we will Reply you in your Inbox Right Now. *Pls pass on - there may be someone out there who needs this opportunity*.”
Other posts on Correctional Services Learnerships and Jobs offer “Traineeship Programme DCS woman and man”, a vague “Learnerships, Apprenticeships and Various Vacancies”, “X65 FIREFIGHTER LEARNERSHIP” and even jobs at Capitec bank.
Here’s why the page is a scam.
Clickbait and engagement bait
A sign that the offers aren’t real is that they have no closing date. Any genuine recruitment drive or training programme would provide a date for final applications.
All the posts on the page say people can “apply here”, with links to websites such as ijob.co.za and nojobs.mobi. None of the links are to dcs.gov.za, the correctional services website.
And the links either go nowhere or lead to web pages with lots of text but no actual way to apply.
But these pages do have adverts. Using an adblocking browser extension, we counted up to 62 ads on some pages.
The scammers are earning money from these adverts. The Facebook page’s training and job offers are only clickbait to get users to visit their ad-filled websites.
Another red flag is that the page urges users to “send message” and share its posts with “someone out there who needs this opportunity”.
This is engagement bait, a practice Facebook warns against.
“Engagement bait is a tactic that urges people to interact with Facebook posts through likes, shares, comments and other actions in order to artificially boost engagement and get greater reach,” Facebook says.
In a 2021 statement, DCS said it did not advertise jobs on social media. It only recruits on its website.
“Those posing as consultants or using online media platforms are fraudsters who must be reported to law enforcement agencies,” the department warned.
To find out more about scams on Facebook, read our guide.
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