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Why we perform background checks - Ask Prasa

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Update 4 September 2023 - Prasa Scam email


A few people have contacted us about an SMS and email they received that purported to offer them a job if they paid R250 toward background checks via PEP Money.


We are a recruitment agency and have no relationship to PRASA but many have asked questions about being charged for qualification / criminal checks.


No one should ever ask you for money for a background check. It Is unethical. We believe it it to be a scam. It has likely caught out a lot of people. We have reported it and are trying to get PEP Money transfers to block it on their end. Subsequently PRASA have confirmed it is a scam


There are a lot of pointers as to why we believe it to be a scam

  1. The prasa-jobs.org domain was just registered. PRASA's domain is prasa.com

  2. The letter does not address anyone by name

  3. It is badly formatted

  4. It has an aol return address. I haven't seen aol for over 20 years and PRASA would never use aol

  5. I don't believe PRASA would not charge you for a background check

So we suggest you disregard the sms and email.


Introduction


Background and verification checks are part and parcel of the recruitment process. Sometimes, candidates get a little offended that we verify qualifications, employment and criminal record before an offer is released. Unfortunately, not everyone is as honest as you may be, and these checks are necessary. If an employer has taken the qualifications on face value they could suffer direct and consequential damages.


In August 2019, Cyril Ramaphosa signed the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Amendment Act. The Act gives SAQA the legal responsibility to verify all national qualifications and part-qualifications, which means all skills development providers now need to be registered. This is a clampdown on bogus institutions claiming to offer qualifications not registered on the NQF.


Furthermore , misrepresenting qualifications is now a criminal offence. Job seekers could face up to 5 years in jail for misrepresenting their qualifications (Fin24). This does not only cover the job application and the CV submitted, but also any social media profiles that were not even submitted with the application.


In addition to this, criminal charges may only be the beginning of the offenders problems. The offender could also be sued.


The Prasa example

Recently, Prasa sued an ex-employee for damages. The employee had claimed a national diploma and a bachelor’s degree from a SA university. On the basis of this, Prasa was induced to appoint him in a senior position. It gets worse. Prasa further alleged the employee had claimed he had been awarded a doctorate by a German university along with a lucrative job offer. Prasa counter-offered. The employee denied this and claimed victimisation. The court saw it Prasa's way and ordered that the employee pay over R5.7M in damages (Businesstech).


I do wonder why Prasa did not verify this person's claims before appointing him into a senior position. Parvana do checks on behalf of our clients. Every year there are a few examples where we find that qualifications claimed are incomplete.


Our Verification Checks

In conjunction with our clients, we perform reference, education, employment, ID, criminal and if required, credit checks. We require candidate consent before performing the checks, thus giving the candidate a last opportunity to correct misunderstandings. In most cases, the checks are quick and efficient.


Need help?

If you need any help with any aspect of your career, please don't hesitate to email us and we will setup a chat with one of directors or team.


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