Job seekers can be stressed, desperate, eager, and excited all at the same time. Having a mix of emotions can be distracting, which makes job seekers susceptible to thieves who are waiting to take advantage of them. If you or someone you know is looking for a job, they need to be on alert for scams.
Current job seekers make themselves targets for scams and identity thieves by posting personal information on public job sites. Job seekers should make sure their information is only posted to sites with privacy policies and legitimacy, as well as limit the amount of personal information that is public.
Thieves will also tempt job seekers into giving away personal information through fake job listings on public sites or through direct email. Sophisticated scammers will pretend to be a contact from a legitimate company by changing their address to slightly mimic the company. For example, a legitimate business could be called xyz and have an email domain of @xyz.com. The scammer could send an email from account that has @xy-z.com or @xzy.com to fool the job seeker.
Most scammers will ask for bank account information, a copy of a utility bill, or a background check application (all of which include personal and sensitive information). Some scammers ask job seekers to pay for software requirements, credit reports, training sessions, and so on by wire transfers or asking for your credit information.
To help you stay alert and avoid falling victim to identity theft or scams, review these tips:
- Never include your bank account number, driver’s license number, date of birth, Social Security number, or credit card numbers on your resume
- Only post your information to legitimate and secure job sites and track the companies you have applied for jobs at so you know who you should expect communications from
- Watch out for vague job requirements and job description posted or discussed during interview that anyone could qualify for
- Always verify the legitimacy of a company
- Look for unprofessional emails that include misspelling, grammar mistakes, punctuation errors, etc. or emails that come from a personal email account and/or do not include contact information
- Be wary of online interviews via Yahoo Instant Messenger, many scammers use this method
- Remember, if the job seems too good to be true, it’s probably fake