Mark Pribish

Watch your ID with online job search

By Mark Pribish
Vice President and ID Theft Practice Leader

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.

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


To learn more about these threats and how to protect yourself and your family from Identity Theft, you can read my past newsletters at the Merchants Identity Theft Educational Website at www.idtheftedu.com.


Phishing Scam Spoofs BBB Questionnaire; Businesses Warned Not to Click

Domain Name BBBL.org is NOT a BBB Website.

Better Business Bureau is warning businesses not to click on an email that claims to be a "BBB SBQ" (standard business questionnaire). The email was sent out this morning to what is believed to be tens of thousands of businesses across the country. The email has a ZIP file attachment that links to a site that can download malware on the user's computer. Spoofing well-known and trusted brands is a common scam tactic. Other organizations such as the IRS, the FBI and Fortune 500 companies have been spoofed in similar phishing campaigns that victimized consumers and businesses.

"As soon as we heard about the scam, we immediately notified our security vendors and we are in the process of taking down the website," said Ben Steinberg, Chief Information Officer for the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across North America. "We have a structure in place to quickly address and mitigate the impact of scammers who use our name. Our highest priority is protecting the public."

The emails are coming from the domain "BBBL.org," which is not a BBB domain name, although it is clearly designed to look as if it is. The domain name was created last October and is registered to an individual in Antwerp, Belgium. It's not immediately clear if the domain owner is directly involved in the phishing scam, but BBB will be turning over its information to the FBI and Interpol for further investigation.

BBB offers this advice to anyone who receives this or other unsolicited emails with links or attachments:

  • Do not click on links or open attachments in unsolicited email.
  • If your email program allows it, tag the email as spam.
  • Report the email to your Internet Service Provider.
  • If you are unsure if an email is legitimate, call the sender using a phone number that you know to be correct (not from the email).
  • Check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam) for additional information on scams.

Courtesy of the Better Business Bureau - for more information visit http://www.bbb.org/phoenix/news-events/

If you believe your identity has been stolen, call 866.SMART68 today.