Warning on bogus jobs scam

Kamva Mokoena

Kamva Mokoena

Residents of Kokstad and Matatiele in KwaZulu-Natal have been warned to be on the lookout for con artists running a bogus job scam.

The scam involves non-existent jobs at the local municipality.

Police said the syndicate targeted unsuspecting members of the public via their cellphones, urging them to deposit R240 for their name badges before they begin their new jobs.

One of the victims, Ntombencane Sotsaka, 35, of Chibini village in Matatiele, is now unemployed after she left her job as a supervisor without a word when she received an SMS informing her that she had been given a job as a records clerk.

"The messages, stating my full name, confirmed that my post as a records clerk had been approved," she said.

"I was asked to report for duty on January 21 at 8am and was asked to pay R240 for a name tag before the end of the day.

"I was given an account number in which to make the deposit and a telephone number to call back."

Sotsaka said she phoned the number and was informed that the person initially employed had not "pitched" and that the municipality had decided to head-hunt her for it.

"I believed that and thanked God for my great luck. But when I went to the municipality no one was aware of it."

She was advised to open a case at Kokstad police station.

"Now I have two kids to take care of and no job."

Sotsaka said that after she discovered this was a scam, she tried to get her former job back, but the problem was that she had not even given her company 24 hours notice.

When Sowetan phoned the number, it was on voicemail, saying the person known as Mandla was not available.

The corporate services manager for Greater Kokstad Municipality, Thamsanqa Somtseu, warned residents that there were no vacant positions advertised through cellphone SMSes.

"Anybody who comes across such a message must report the matter to the nearest police station so we can track down those responsible," he said.

He said it was not the first time that con artists had claimed to be working for the municipality. He said anyone offered any jobs should call 039-797-6600.