LinkedIn scam

A WITS graduate was almost scammed through her LinkedIn profile into paying R7 000 to confirm a supposed job offer in the United Kingdom.

Mpho* was approached by scammers posing as an international recruitment agency through her LinkedIn profile for a permanent position in the field of her studies, engineering.

She was told that her skills were in high demand in London and that her CV was impressive

The following week she underwent psychological and medical screening. She was informed by the agency two weeks later that she had passed all the tests and qualified for the position.

However, before she could take up her “dream” job, Mpho was then told she would have to cover visa costs and the administration fee for the job.

The agency asked her to pay R7000 to cover the administration fees

“At first I was super excited about the opportunity that I didn’t really consider the whole thing to be a hoax”, Mpho said.

She asked for a few days to gather the money for the fee. However, Mpho was suspicious and decided to check the website of her supposed employer: Kempinski.

She scrolled to the bottom of the company’s webpage and saw a notice:

“Please be aware that there are some commercial web sites and businesses that are deceiving applicants into believing that they are Kempinski sites … Some companies even demand money by phone or email in order to complete the application or visa process.

 “Kempinski Hotels does not issue employment contracts without interviews by phone and/or in person. No candidate would ever be asked to pay out of pocket money to the company in advance or in order to secure a job. If anyone asks this in our name they are not representatives of Kempinski.”

Mpho*started her Linked-In account in the middle of her final year, 2012.

“It is what most of us do towards the end of our graduation year. I think these companies exploit the desperation and idealism that South Africans tend to have when it comes to working overseas,” Mpho said.

Mpho* is now working on a project in Lephalale, Limpopo in a position that is related to her degree. She paid no costs to get her current job.