Job seekers the world over know that the best places to post your resume are at online job sites like Monster.com, HotJobs.com, and SimplyHired.com, to name a few. Between even just these three sites alone, there are hundreds of thousands of resumes posted online, available for all to search and read.
Let’s back up a moment. “Available for all to search and read.” All. Oh sure, on some job sites you have to pay a fee to search the resumes, but that’s chump change for employers.
Or identity thieves.
That’s right. The newest identity theft scam is perhaps one of the most obvious: scammers search online resumes for the information they need to steal your identity.
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It’s all right there. Your name, your address, your telephone number, your educational background and your job history. And if they are very lucky, your age or date of birth, and if they are very very lucky, your social security number.
And identity thieves don’t just steal your identity information in order to run up your credit. They often will actually assume your identity in order to get a job, or even start a new life.
Explains David Barton, an attorney and identity theft expert in Arizona, where identity theft is a major problem, “What identity thieves are after is a profile, and a profile includes a home address, your birth date and your Social Security number. We have so many employees working out there with false credentials.”
The first step to combat this, obviously, is not to include such private information in your online resume.
“Applicants should consider using a two-tiered approach so that they decide when to provide more information after their somewhat sanitized rÃ©sumÃ© has piqued an employer prospect’s attention,” advises John Flynn, another attorney specializing in the area. “Everyone must be cautious and spend the time to craft a different sanitized, but still equally impressive rÃ©sumÃ©, that will get someone’s attention.”
But care in crafting your resume isn’t enough to ward off all would-be scammers. In a twist on the old Nigerian 419 scam, MSNBC reports, scammers are contacting job-seekers through online job sites, and luring them into check-cashing scams. Recently, for example, scammers claiming to represent a fictitious company in Europe contacted online job seekers, and asked them to help get their company’s operations up and running in the United States. The scammers then sent forged checks which appeared to be issued by the state of Arkansas to their victims, and had them cash the checks and wire the money back to the scammer so that it could be used for getting the company’s “U.S. operations” going. Of course, the only U.S. operation was the fleecing of the scammer’s target.
Do you have a resume posted somewhere online? If so, what are you going to do when you’re done reading this? Now.
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