Job Scams And ID Theft-Safety Tip Of the Week

Reprint of
“Job Search Scams: 6 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

As U.S. unemployment has increased, so too has the number of job search scams identity theft rings are perpetrating against desperate job seekers.

Two types of job search scams are most common. One is a phishing scam, where identity theft perpetrators e-mail would-be victims to tell them about potential jobs and opportunities to make extra money. The e-mails direct recipients to websites that identity thieves have created specifically for gathering personal information, just as if it were a job application, says Oaks.

These fake applications request all the information job seekers would expect to provide, such as their name, address and phone number, as well as for information they may not expect to offer so early in the process, she adds, such as their Social Security number, permission to conduct a background check and bank account information.

“They tell you they need your bank account information so they can make sure your check can be direct deposited,” she says, adding that they’ll sometimes go so far as to say that they’ll place money in your account and then remove it just to make sure it works.

“By allowing them to place money in your account and remove it, you let your bank know that this ’employer’ can take money out of your account, and that’s how they wipe out people’s bank accounts.” Never mind the fact that you’ll never receive any information about any job from one of these e-mails.

In the second scam, identity thieves pose as employers on legitimate job search sites. They post a generic job that would appeal to a large number of people, Oaks says, and in the course of talking to applicants, they ask for personal information.

“There are identity thieves all over valid and existing job search websites who are posing as employers,”

Advice to job seekers is simple: Be wary of the information you’re sharing and at which point in the hiring process you’re sharing it.

Here are six specific tips:

1. Never share your bank account information up front.
2. Never share your Social Security number up front.
3. Never agree to a background check up front.
4. Research potential employers.
5. Consider sharing less information on your resume.
6. Opt out. When you sign up for e-mail newsletters and offers from legitimate businesses, opt out of
receiving offers from their third-party business partners.”

Feedback on these posts is welcomed. Have you ever been a victim of ID theft? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.

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