FBI Reports a Surge in Online Job Scams

Job hunters have more to fear than rejection: Online job scams are on the rise, according to a new report issued by the FBI.

According to a report issued by the FBI on July 5, individuals in the market for a new job have more to fear than rejection—online job scams are becoming prevalent as more individuals hunt for new employment opportunities online.

In a cautionary report, the FBI explains that identity thieves have been known to take advantage of the personal information that is disclosed when applying for a job: names, home addresses and phone numbers, work numbers, e-mail addresses, and sometimes even dates of birth and social security numbers.

The FBI said it is currently investigating all kinds of online job scams including one where an individual responded to an ad, was contacted via e-mail for a fake interview and then asked for account information to start the direct depositing of their paychecks.

In another, a fake recruiter e-mailed a potential hire to get their information for a pre-employment background check.

Despite most job hunters being Internet-savvy, the FBI reported that one person posted a resume online that included the individuals social security number, which identity thieves then used to apply for a slew of credit cards in the individuals name.

The FBI warns job seekers who look online to think twice before including personal information on their resumes, and to consider posting a resume anonymously with an e-mail address as the primary point of contact.

The FBI also warns to never share banking or credit card information with a potential employer, or even a scan of a drivers license or other form of identification.

Most importantly, the FBI warns job seekers to look out for red flags such as spelling and grammatical errors as well as requests to forward packages and postings for "import/export specialists."


Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.