Picture this: You’ve applied for a job, and you receive a promising e-mail response. The e-mail states that the company is interested in you, and the salary is big.
However, the job you would be doing involves sensitive information, so you have to submit to a background check as part of the interview process. So you give them your age, height, weight, Social Security number, bank account numbers and mother’s maiden name, as per the company’s request.
What’s wrong with this picture?
This is a typical scam, victimizing unemployed people so desperate to find work that they’ll do just about anything. This type of scam is perpetrated by criminals every day, using legitimate job sites like Monster, Craigslist and CareerBuilder. The ads look legit enough, but when they start asking for your personal information, beware.
It is not necessary to provide your Social Security number when applying for a job, even if the request is because a background check is needed. You should never give a prospective employer your credit card or bank account information, either. They have no reason to ask for this information.
Some job postings will respond by asking you to log onto a “secure server” so that you can access their site and take a look at the kinds of work you’d be doing. The sender will request that you e-mail a password, banking on the fact that many people use the same password for everything. It’s very likely that the person on the other end of this request is a criminal, and he’s counting on you to e-mail him your password.
Don’t fall for this scam. There are a lot of legitimate job postings out there, but be careful and use common sense. Don’t provide your most personal information.