As a job seeker, you are networking and making sure you build your contacts and extend your network in order to be seen. However, networking whether online or offline can hurt you if you aren’t cautious about giving your information away. According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) the damage caused by identity theft in 2008 was $48 billion.
In California, 20% of all identity theft related frauds were employment related, which is higher than credit card fraud in that state. Although the numbers are for California, with increasing layoffs and poor job market we are sure these numbers are true for many other states. This certainly doesn’t mean that you need to put a brake on your job search. What it means is that careful steps must be taken before you fill out forms and give information away. When you are filling out employment forms or handing resumes out in person at a brick and mortar business, your information is much more secure than it is when you are filling out employment forms and submitting resume online.
With employment related identity theft on the rise, it is necessary that you do the due research. Before submitting your resume or any other information online make sure the site you are submitting to is a credible site. If you don’t know enough about them, research before submitting your information. This doesn’t apply to the online world alone, it applies to the offline world as well. If you are throwing away a paper containing your information, make sure you shred it before dumping it in the garbage can. At times these things just get overlooked but one small mistake can cause a huge problem in the long run. And identity theft is the last thing you want when you are out and about looking for a job.
If you want to learn more about identity theft related to employment, be sure to read this article : Identity thieves targeting job seekers.