Beware – Reserve Force recruitment scam

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In the wake of another military recruiting scam being uncovered, the senior communication and media liaison officer in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) called those responsible “unpatriotic”, among others.

The emotive response from Brigadier General Andries Mahapa, who exits his position as Director Corporate Communication via the mobility exit mechanism (MEM) next year, further refers to the “faceless criminals” as “abhorrently unethical, illegal and should be condemned by all law abiding citizens”.

The scam, according to an SANDF statement, is aimed at recruiting for the Reserve Force by way of “a legitimate military document” distributed via social media platforms.

The statement has Mahapa saying the document “was not issued by the relevant SANDF recruitment office”. Additionally, the national defence force currently has “no official recruitment drive underway” and the recruitment attempt is termed as being “intent on fleecing unsuspecting and vulnerable citizens”.

“Scammers,” the statement has it, “have now resorted to luring desperate youths and their unsuspecting parents into disclosing or furnishing personal details on this form. Personal information is then gained with the intention of defrauding unsuspecting citizens”.

This is a deviation from the generally military recruitment scam modus operandi of asking for an application fee to add legitimacy. There is no recruitment charge in the SANDF.

“Repeated deceitful acts by unpatriotic faceless criminals, targeting our unsuspecting youths is abhorrently unethical, illegal and should be condemned by all law abiding citizens of our country.”

The statement finishes by pointing out “the unscrupulous criminals” are “known in communities” where they attempt recruitment, with an appeal to anyone who knows them or their whereabouts to anonymously report them to the SA Police Service (SAPS).

The Department of Defence (DoD) website has no specific portal for careers or recruitment to the SANDF, its services and divisions. A site search on Friday, 22 December, brought two results – one a military skills development (MSD) application for the SA Navy (SAN) and the other a post on SANDF career opportunities. The site has it there are “about 40 results” with “show more” not reacting.