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Career Coach

Watch Out for This Job Hunting Scam

Published July 15, 2009 12:10 PM by Renee Dahring
In the past week I have twice heard news of scams involving phony job ads and fake recruiters. This sort of thing has always been around and tends to increase when the economy decreases. Unfortunately when unemployment rises the scammers come out of the woodwork to prey on desperate job seekers who are anxious to find work. The job scams all share one common goal -- to gain personal information such as a social security or license numbers from an applicant for the purpose of committing identity fraud.

A typical scam scenario goes like this: A "recruiter" contacts a job seeker claiming to have seen their resume online. (Hmmm, does this sound familiar?) The scammer informs the job seeker they have a great job that matches their resume and all the unwitting applicant needs to do is provide their social security number in order to submit an application. The request is usually made via e-mail, and the applicant is asked either to reply to the sender or they are directed to a sham Web site to apply. Quite often a sense of urgency is implied. It only goes downhill from there.

Because almost all job searching and applying takes place online these days, it doesn't seem odd to be contacted by e-mail or be directed to apply on a Web site. However, no legitimate recruiter or job ad should ever ask you to furnish them with your social security number or any license number during their first contact with you and/or prior to an actual interview. If a "recruiter" cannot give you any real details about the position or uses high pressure techniques to get you to apply, it should raise red flags.

Good jobs aren't fire sales and shouldn't require you to "act fast" before they are gone. Take the time to verify who you are dealing with and who they are representing. You should NEVER, EVER put your social security number, license number or DEA registration number on your resume, and under no circumstances should you enter this information when filling out online initial applications.

Has anyone run across suspicious ads? Do online applications make you nervous? Let's discuss!!!

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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