safety tips for online job seekers|
With a click of your mouse you can post your resume
for millions to see. You can store five different cover letters
at once and send out different versions without printing a single
page. You can apply to hundreds of employers without ever getting
in a car or picking up the phone.
You can also expose yourself to scammers.
There's no doubt about it -- if you want to join the
online job search bandwagon, there are plenty of places to park
your resume. Some attract quite a crowd: Careerbuilder.com, for
instance, says it has more than 1 million jobs and 15 million resumes
on its site.
Unfortunately, some con artists use the popularity of
online job boards to find victims for their financial schemes. By scouring through
resumes and sending e-mails to job seekers or posting their own ads, scammers
can lure job seekers onto bogus sites or entice them to pay upfront fees for phantom
jobs. It even happens on the big-name sites: Monster.com states in its "Be
Safe" section that fraudulent job listings are sometimes posted to collect
sensitive data from unwitting job seekers.
With the plethora
of job boards on the Web, experts advise that consumers should stay on top of
the latest online employment scams and take steps to post their resume safely.
Scams such as e-mails from phony employers and bogus requests
for background checks can bring disastrous consequences to consumers who aren't
careful with their personal information. Armed with your Social Security number,
a driver license number or date of birth, a scammer can have a field day. You
could be saying goodbye to your identity and your credit -- and still be unemployed.
Before you post that resume or respond to that e-mail offering
an immediate position, stop, read and listen. Are you online job board-savvy?
like to go phishing
"A good rule of thumb is to never give out
anything over the Internet or telephone that you wouldn't want a criminal to have,"
says Jim Stickley, co-founder, CTO and vice president of engineering at TraceSecurity,
a company that works with corporations to help them secure their data and meet
security-industry standards. If the company offering your dream job needs your
confidential information, you should visit with them face-to-face to make sure
they are a real company. If they are remote, then you need to take steps to verify
their legitimacy, says Stickley.
demanding personal or financial information such as credit card numbers, bank
account numbers or your Social Security number should raise red flags and tip
you off to job scams, e-mails from employers expressing real interest in you as
a job candidate are less cut and dried.
|Here are six simple ways to protect your personal
data from thieving eyes.