Within two days of the SA Police Service (SAPS) launching a national recruitment drive, the service has had to issue a scam warning.
Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said young men and women approached by alleged police officers need to be vigilant.
“There are bogus police officers out to rob unsuspecting people of money,” he said in the wake of information supplied by concerned parents in the Eastern Cape town Tabankulu.
“According to complainants a call was received from a police officer, obviously bogus, demanding R2 500 in exchange for employment in the police service,” he said adding “it is believed some scam victims already paid, making money transfers at local shopping centres”.
Similar incidents have been reported in the East London area and are being investigated.
“SAPS wants to put the record straight regarding the police trainee recruitment drive. An advertisement for entry level posts in the police was placed this week. This announcement was made in credible and recognised official communication platforms including newspapers and social media. Clearly defined criteria, as well as official contact numbers, are given for enquiries by prospective applicants.
“The SAPS official advertisement for entry level posts does not provide for payment of money by an applicant, nor does it reflect any police officer as responsible for collection of money in exchange for employment in the police service,” Kinana said in a statement.
People approached with requests for money in exchange for employment should obtain as much detail as possible and report to their nearest police station.
The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is also regularly targeted by scammers purportedly “guaranteeing” employment in the military on payment of a certain amount of money.
As with the police service, the SANDF does not charge money to join the national defence force and advises reporting the scammers, with as much personal detail as can be gathered, to police.
The incidence of scammers offering work in the government security sector is becoming more prevalent according to Darren Olivier, African Defence Review director.
Following a bout of job offer scams for the military and police last year he said they “reflected the desperation of many jobless young South Africans”.
“The SANDF obviously cannot do much about the economic malaise, but I feel they’re not doing all they can to stop scams preying on the vulnerable. As economic conditions continue to deteriorate we can expect these scams to increase and become more involved.
“I’d suggest the problem is now big enough it would be worth setting up a specialised cross-department task team with SAPS, SANDF Defence Intelligence and Military Police as well as the Department of Social Development to combat it,” he told defenceWeb.