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Scammers are taking advantage of desperate job seekers by placing non-existent job ads on platforms such as Facebook with no intention other than enriching themselves through page visits.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Jean Le Roux, a research associate at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, who recently collaborated with Africa Check to expose these tactics.

Scammers are posting expired or in some cases fabricated job adverts. These ads fool prospective job seekers to click on these posts.

Jean Le Roux, Research associate - Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab

The scammers make money from these clicks generated by these websites, he says.

The cost to the job seekers? He says they are wasting their data when applying, and adds that there is an element of fraud involved.

He cites a recent example where about 170 job seekers applied for a position advertised at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital which, in fact, had expired a long time ago.

The websites investigated in this sample, however, did show that once a person clicks through to the site that's where it stops.

There's no further follow-through or contact details for people to apply any further than that.

Jean Le Roux, Research associate - Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab

Is it possible to stop this?

Le Roux says it would be difficult as it would require stopping people posting on social media.

You're faced with a whack-a-mole situation. As soon as you take one down, two pop up. So even though they know about them, it is difficult to enforce.

Jean Le Roux, Research associate - Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab

What about the advertising on these fake job sites?

He explains that many of the adverts being placed on these websites are what is termed programmatic advertising.

It serves up targeted ads tailored to an individual, in this case, it was a Google AdSense ad that provided these. So a brand that might have nothing to do with these fake scammers might end up on the site.

Jean Le Roux, Research associate - Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab

Listen to the interview below:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [WARNING] Internet scammers lure desperate job seekers to fake job ads

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