Why should people be worried about identity theft as it pertains to their career?
While searching for a job, the job seeker must be wary of the type of information he/she is sharing and where it is being shared. Exposure of personal identifiers during a job search could result in any type of identity theft. It could affect your current job search and may affect you later. Job seekers must also be aware of fraudsters posing as legitimate companies in an attempt to steal their information or trick them into participating in a criminal act.
If a thief obtains and uses your identity, some consequences that may affect your career include:
Tainted credit history. Employers often check credit histories. If you were unaware that you were being victimized by someone using your information to open accounts with banks, stores, utilities, etc. and not paying the bills, your credit history will reflect the derogatory results.
Criminal history. If someone is arrested/convicted for a crime and gives your personal identifying information as their own, your identity is associated with the criminal record. This would appear on a background check conducted by a current or former employer.
Other reputational damage. If a thief used your personal information to interact on any of the many social networking sites in an embarrassing way, an employer’s or potential employer’s review of such sites could adversely affect you.
Even if an identity theft event doesn’t have a direct affect on your career, it will likely still cause problems on the job due to the time involved to resolve the problems and the personal stress it creates.
Top Items to Avoid to Help Protect Your Career Identity
What does Kroll Fraud Solutions feel are the top items to watch out for when applying for a position?
When searching for a job, watch for and avoid situations that lack security. Know how to spot potential problems. Be cautious if:
You’re asked to provide personal data including, but not limited to, images of your Social Security card and driver license, especially via email. Such information can be provided upon offer of employment. Email is not secure and no legitimate company would ask you to provide such information this way.
You are asked to open a bank account and/or use a wire service to transfer money. It is safe to assume that any request of this nature is a scam.
Someone calls asking for personal data. Don’t be caught off guard because they are using the phone. Ask for their contact information. Call them back after you verify that they represent the company they reference and that the company is legitimate.
The job hunting site you consider using doesn’t have good security features. Can anyone peruse the posted resumes or do companies have to meet certain criteria?
Bottom Line on Career ID Theft
Treat your career information and documentation with the same respect and consideration you give your financial information. Don’t fall for obvious scams, and ensure you never give out personal data over the phone until you are sure the company and representative are legitimate.