Diane Stafford: How job hunters can avoid identity theft
Pat Sullivan, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Many job applications ask for your Social Security number and date of birth.
You don’t have to give that information when you apply. You don’t have to give it until after you’ve been interviewed and received a conditional job offer.
Because it might eventually save time in background checking, many employers ask on applications for personal information that employment law attorneys say they really shouldn’t get at an early stage in the hiring process.
Depending on how much you want the job, you’ll have to weigh choices. You could give out personal information and hope to avoid identity theft or discrimination. You could leave blanks where you don’t choose to share and hope they won’t toss your application. You could try to tell the employer why you’d prefer to give that information when they want to hire you.
If you decide to fill in the requested blanks, do it with care.
When applying online, be sure the Internet site is secure. Look for the tiny lock icon or a site URL beginning with https instead of http.
Before responding to an email or phone call, be sure the company and job possibility are real. Scammers pretend to be employers, recruiters or people who will file unemployment claims for you. Don’t be fooled into giving out personal information.
When filling out a paper application, hand it directly to someone in the human resource department or the hiring manager. Don’t just leave it with anyone in the building.
Consider creating a separate email address and perhaps buying a temporary cellphone to use solely for your job hunt. That protects your real contact information from phishing scams.
When signing on to job search sites, use a different username and separate password from any of your other accounts. And make it a strong password that’s unlikely to be guessed.
ABOUT THE WRITER
©2013 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)
Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
- The best Black Friday deals of 2014
- Which home improvements give the best ROI?
- Can a cash grocery budget save you money?
- BLACK FRIDAY LIVE: Protests, beer and prison
- 4 reasons why you shouldn't shop on Black Friday
- Why Utahns are some of the biggest spenders,...
- 6 steps to better budgeting
- Utah ranks third in state credit quality
- Working on Thanksgiving Day? Here's why... 12
- Why Utahns are some of the biggest... 12
- Immigration reform will boost the... 8
- Thanksgiving trumps Black Friday for deals 4
- What women can do to prepare for... 3
- Why Salt Lake City is one of the best... 2
- 5 ways to talk about money with your... 2
- US stocks inch further into record... 1