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Free Staters warned not to fall for health jobs scam

Staff Reporter

The Free State health department has warned people not to respond to job advertisements posted on social media as it does not use such platforms to advertise vacancies.

Provincial health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi told The Free Stater that he has been inundated by people calling to inquire about job adverts which, unfortunately, do not originate from his department.

“I have received about 15 WhatsApp messages and maybe 40 calls from different people today,” he said on Tuesday.

“The criminals are taking advantage of the high unemployment rate in the province which has only been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many people have lost their jobs and are desperate to find a way of earning an income.”

Mvambi said the department only places adverts on its website as well as in authentic local publications.

“We don’t place adverts on social media. We use local newspapers and our website for that,” he said.

“If a job advert is not on our website, it’s not likely to be genuine. It’s advisable to first check with the provincial head office.”

Mvambi said the criminals are asking for bribes of up to R5 000 which they call a “facilitation fee”.

He said those who respond to the adverts are pressured to pay quickly in order to “secure” their jobs.

“They know people are desperate and they are taking advantage of that,” Mvambi said.

“They tell their victims no to tell anyone that they paid and that they should do it quickly as there many other people with better qualifications applying for the same posts.”

Some of the fake job offers include security, cleaners, drivers and other support staff positions.

“The criminals target hospitals like Pelonomi and National as well as other hospitals in smaller towns,” Mvambi said.

“I urge people to study the adverts carefully because those fake ones are full of grammatical mistakes.”

In an earlier statement, the health spokesperson described the job scam as inhuman, disruptive and costly.

“They excite members of society who are largely unemployed and go by each day with expectations that something good will happen to their lives . . . it’s exhausting but more demoralising to the prospective applicant who just wanted to verify a job advert with me,” he said.

“When I tell them that it’s fake, they get so demoralised I can feel their pain.”

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