Protecting personal information while job searching online

Check cashing scam hits online job sites. (Source: WBRC video)
Check cashing scam hits online job sites. (Source: WBRC video)
Published: Feb. 28, 2020 at 10:11 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - is one of the world’s most popular job search engines, but the Better Business Bureau warns it can also be a place where schemers try to grab your personal information.

“I just want the public to know, there are scammers and they’re doing something on these various websites,” warns a woman we’ll call “Melissa." Melissa says she’s the victim of a job hunting scheme, and wants her identify hidden. She says it started when she and her husband started looking for jobs on the website indeed.Com.

“I’m assuming these scammers are going in and pulling that resume and using that resume to tweak it or whatever and applying to these jobs that we’re not applying to,” Melissa says.

After applying to a few jobs, she says she got an email from a potential employer, saying thanks for attending a job fair, that she never went to. Now she’s worried her personal information was leaked, and may be abused.

“Now you’re playing with employment status, you could be taunting as a scammer, you could be taunting with my career, apparently you’re trying to get a job using my social. Why are you doing this? It’s very scary,” Melissa warns.

The BBB says a number of people have reported getting suspicious emails and calls about jobs supposedly available through indeed.Com

“I think these people are being driven to another site,” reports Carmen Million of the South Central Louisiana BBB. “They were asking for their personal information and we do know consumers actually gave their social security numbers, and the strangest thing to us is that they were asking for a copy of their drivers license.”

The BBB says before you apply for a job, make sure it’s a legit company. You can also contact them directly to make sure they’re actually hiring.

“Offers that sound too good to be true are usually a warning sign,” warns Million. “Again if they’re asking for money up front, if they’re asking for personal information before they even set up an interview.”

As for Melissa, she has this message for other job seekers: “Be careful out there, watch out, go to the official job website, and if anyone calls you, allow them to leave that voicemail. If it doesn’t sound legit, don’t respond to it.”

Here are 5 more tips to keep your job search online safe.

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