What Applicants Need to Know about Identity Theft

As an active job seeker you may post your resume in several job boards providing personal contact information including your social security number and more... speak with innumerable recruiters discussing potential job opportunities revealing more information about yourself. Chances are you don't give this everyday job hunt process and search a second thought. But someone else may.

The 1990's spawned a new variety of crooks called identity thieves. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, (FDIC) identity theft is a fraud committed or attempted by using the identifying information of another person without his or her authority. Identifying information may include such things as a social security number, account number, date of birth, personal contact information, driver's license number, passport number, biometric data and other unique electronic identification numbers or codes. An all-too-common example is when an identity thief uses your personal information to open a credit card account in your name. Can you completely prevent identity theft from occurring? Probably not! But you can minimize your risk by managing your personal information wisely, cautiously and with heightened sensitivity.

Minimize Your Risk

¢ While posting resumes on job boards do not enter personal contact information, see if you have a choice of keeping this information confidential or posting your profile anonymously thereby requesting potential employers to email you if interested with prospective job opportunities.

¢ Avoid using information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN or your phone number on your resume.

¢ Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know who you're dealing with. Identity thieves may pose as representatives of recruiting agencies, head hunters and even HR executive's to get you to reveal your SSN, mother's maiden name, financial account numbers and other identifying information.

¢ While speaking with recruiters and head hunters make sure you take down their contact information and company details. A good practice is to do research on the recruiting agency or company before you engage in a detailed discussion by visiting their websites and verifying address and contact details.

If you are a Victim
Sometimes an identity thief can strike even if you've been very careful about keeping your personal information to yourself. If you've been a victim of identity theft, you can file a complaint with the FTC using the online complaint form; or call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261; or write Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. Be sure to call the Hotline to update your complaint if you have any additional information or problems.

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