This article is so well written that it deserves to be in our archive. We have the following points to add:
You don’t have to assume everything is a scam until you are told that to send money, social security or bank number, or any personal information over. We know that no employers asked for money, since the job hunter is the one to be paid and not the other way round.
As for sending of social security numbers over – we hate this too but sometimes it IS a requirement of some legitimate company. For example, when I ordered a webhosting package from a company previously, they asked me to fax over Both my ID and Credit Card information. Just to share what I did:
1) Call the other person up, using the phone number on their legitimate website.
2) Email to the company using the email address on their legitimate website. In this case, we assume that you are dealing with a reputable company (e.g. hp.com is reputable) and not one which you did not even hear about. In the email, I would inform them about the concern with sending over photocopies of my cards, and get them to commit to ensuring the security procedures are in place (i.e. destruction of copies after verification).
3) Get the official reply on email, then fax over the photocopies.
It is not foolproof should there be a crook among the employees. Nevertheless, this is the least we can do to ensure proper records are kept for tracing by the police later.
Cyber Scams Targeting Job Hunters
While there are many reputable companies offering job opportunities on
the Internet, some crooks use legitimate sites to run scams on
unsuspecting job seekers. It’s very important that everyone understand
how these crooks operate.
For example, you may think you are applying for a job at a
well-known company because the ad has its logo prominently displayed.
You are told you have the job. As part of the job, you will be required
to wire money overseas. This transfer of funds will require that you
provide the company with your personal information, such as your Social
Security number and bank account information. You are to receive a
percentage of the transferred money. Usually the amounts transferred
are under $10,000 to avoid scrutiny by the banks being used in the
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