Prospective students from all over the world are being scammed by unscrupulous persons in South Africa. The scams involve tricking students into paying over funds to undergo training at Aviation Training Organisations (ATOs) allegedly holding approvals granted by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).
Advertising of ATO services are typically conducted through the newspaper advertisements or through the internet. Popular advertisements include the lure of completing an aircraft type rating, followed by an employment contract as a First Officer or Flight Attendant on a named airline.
Enquiries about these advertisements invariably are followed up by a request to deposit funds (normally in US dollars or Euros) into a named bank account. Some scammers have even requested money to be sent through "Cash Send" services available through most ATM services.
When responding to an advertisement for a particular training service, please request the training service provider to supply you with a copy of its approved ATO certificate as well as a copy of its approved Training Operations Specification (Opspec). The Opspec issued by the SACAA will list the training that has been approved for the particular ATO. You are then invited to verify the authenticity of the supplied documentation with the SACAA by sending an email to PEL.Training.caa.co.za
Note – in the subject line of the email, please insert "VERIFICATION OF ATO CERTIFICATE AND OPSPEC".
Prospective students are advised to exercise caution and carry out due diligence (especially where promises of employment are included) before committing to any financial arrangement, as the SACAA is not able to assist in any way with persons that have been scammed.
"If it sounds too good to be true, then it is probably not true!"
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