Meet Sindi Khumalo. Sindi lost her job a few months ago due to her company’s restructuring. She has been out of a salary for close to a year now. She’s a single mother and also takes care of her two siblings who are in high school and tertiary, respectively.

While checking for job application email updates at an internet cafe close to her house, she comes across this email: <>

As per your work application for workplacement , our company STW Employment is searching for talent to fill available job openings with our employers overseas.

We are offering placements in:


North America:

Middle East:

Asia & Pacific Rim:

Relocation, work permits and accommodation is secured for selected candidates.

Placements take from 1 month to finalise.

Work contracts are 24 months and can be renewed thereafter.

Should you be interested in earning GBP, Euros or USD, please contact us via email,cell or call our call centers landline numbers for an interview-briefing.

*Please note that interviews are done at our offices in Umhlanga Ridge, Durban. If you live far and cannot attend the required interview, pls request our Work Application forms, these will then be emailed to you for completion and emailed or faxed back to our offices for further processing.

Alternatively feel free to contact us for further information on new placements.

Thank you

While reading the email, Sindi has a feeling that something is not right — she doesn’t recall ever applying for an “overseas work opportunity”; so chances are she is about to get scammed. She listens to her gut and scans the email again before deciding whether to respond to the email, or to mark it as spam. This is what she notices:

Bad grammar

Sindi sees a lot of inconsistencies with this email such as spelling errors, punctuation errors, and typos. The email’s overall look is unprofessional and also the job position is really vague as it does not state what the job actually entails.

Personal details wanted

The email states that a work application form will be sent to Sindi ahead of her interview briefing. The reason is most likely that the scammers want Sindi’s personal details such as her ID number, bank account; proof of banking etc. If Sindi goes ahead with this process, she will be signing her identity away! This information could be used for fraudulent activity because genuine employers won’t need any of these details until a formal job offer has been made and a contract signed.

Instant offer

The email almost guarantees a work placement for Sindi, experience or not. The mail further implies that her relocation, accommodation and work will be confirmed in just a month after she has been accepted. Sounds too good to be true, right? It most certainly is.

After reading the email the second time, Sindi is convinced that this is a scam, and she is right. Tip: If your intuition does not take off as quickly as Sindi’s and you need more evidence that something is amiss, then search for information about the company online. Search for both the company’s name and the email address. Other job seekers would have flagged the scammers, and this will help you in future to be vigilant and to always double check work offers that sound too good to be true.

Click here if you need more information on how to identify a job scam.

Image credit: Skillcrush