It couldn't be easier to apply for a job today, with online offerings that can be viewed from anywhere and e-delivered applications sent versus snail mail or dropping off a resume or job application.

But there are two edges to the online job application convenience "sword."

One edge is great for you, employment services and employers, and the other edge is great for ID-theft criminals.

Our personal info online is a treasure trove for the bad guys who want to use our good names for their bad deeds. Plus it sets the stage for scammers.

Sadly, those in search of a job face identity theft as cyber criminals rely on online job seekers to respond to their bogus online employment ads and work-from-home scams.

Cyber crooks also hack giant employment sites.

It's so bad that the FBI is warning college students on how they are being targeted to participate in work-from-home scams.

In one scam, "open position" requires students to provide their bank account information to receive a deposit and then transfer a portion of the funds to another bank account. The funds the students were to receive are then directed elsewhere — stolen by cyber criminals.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, is a partnership with the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to receive Internet related criminal complaints, and refer the criminal complaints to law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies.

Now let's talk prevention and mitigation.

A red flag for a fraudulent online job listing is when confidential information like your social security number (for a background check) or checking account number (for payroll and direct deposit) are being requested prior to an actual interview and/or job offer.

Don't feel threatened to provide standard information to a trusted source for online applicant information such as home address, work history, education, and references.

Do not, however, include your social security number, bank or credit card account information, driver license or passport numbers, date of birth, or any other financial information when applying for a job.

Mark's most important: Use online employment searching with caution and don't give out unnecessary personal information. If you believe you are a victim of an online internet crime you can file a complaint at the IC3 website: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.

 

Mark Pribish is vice president and ID-theft practice leader at Merchants Information Solutions Inc., a national ID-theft and background-screening provider based in Phoenix. Reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This article was originally published on AZcentral.com and republished with the author's permission.

 

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