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As we all know, the ugly truth is that there is a substantial rise in identity theft, and it's getting worse and is still on the rise. One way to protect yourself is being careful when posting your resume and personal information on the Internet. For example, there used to be a hard-and-fast rule that you must include your full home address on your resume. Providing your home address used to be a means of communication, but this is rarely the case in today's times.
Do you really want just anyone to have your home address, home phone, fax number, and all your email addresses? This information is not needed by an employer to contact you, so why leave yourself open? So what information should you include on your resume? Simply list your phone and email address. Or you may consider only listing your email address and not your phone number. You can give them this information after the initial email contact.
Speaking of email addresses, it's a good idea to set up a separate new email address when looking for a job. It helps with protection for security purposes and protects your normal email from spammers. A separate professional email address gives you an added bonus of keeping better track of job correspondence, and will help you to stay organized in your job search. You may get a phone call from someone introducing themselves as a potential employer asking for your personal information, or you may get an unsolicited email with an application for employment attached.
Never include such information as your driver's license number, birthday, or Social Security Number on an application that's someone sends you through email. Unfortunately, identity thieves can be pretty smart cookies. They can make themselves look and feel just like real employers. To avoid identity theft or job scam offers, protect yourself by asking these questions prior to answering any questions over the phone or responding to an email.
Are they asking me for any personal information upfront? Real employers won't be asking this kind of information right off the bat. Did they send an application to be completed without even calling first for an interview? If so, do not fill out the application. You can be 99.9% sure it's a scam. Are they offering too much money for the job offered? Ask yourself if it sounds too good to be true? If so, it probably is.
Is this a legitimate business? Do an Internet search and see if you can find their web site, but remember, it's easy to set up a fake web site. Next, see if you can find a physical address for that company. See if you could find a business license under that company name. Businesses receive licenses sometimes, known as charters, under the state in which they're based. The business license is public record that can be easily accessed online.
Perform a web search of 'business license' and include the state in which the business is located in your search. Identity theft can rear its ugly head in many ways. If something doesn't sound right, or it sounds fishy, trust your instincts. Protect yourself from online identity theft by avoiding giving out TMI, or too much information.
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