NewsChannel 11 Investigates Why Job Hunting Online Can Be Risky - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/16/07

NewsChannel 11 Investigates Why Job Hunting Online Can Be Risky

The Better Business Bureau warns that job hunters now have to be careful of identity theft because that job you're applying for may not be what you think it is.

Texas Tech Senior Will West is on the hunt for his dream job. "I am looking to be a software developer or IT support," says Will.

Will is looking way beyond the Lubbock city limits.  "My fiance has gotten a job in Pittsburgh. Online is the only way I can look for a job," Will added. 

Will spends up to two hours twice a week looking. David Kraus is the Director of The Texas Tech Career Center, he says Will is not alone.  

"What are your thoughts about ID thieves coming up with new and clever ways to reach people to steal their ID, now though job hunting web sites?," asked Investigator Cecelia Jones.

"That's frightening to me. I guess I would hope for our students that they would be extremely careful in a couple of things. I think they need to make sure when they click on something, they know where they're clicking too," said Kraus.

This is how the scam works; when you post your resume online, job schemers send out emails that can lure you away from secured job searching sites. Once you are there these so-called companies may ask for sensitive information.

"Your ID could get stolen, basically," said Lubbock Better Business Bureau Director Nan Campbell. Campbell has already seen the warnings circulating across the U.S.  

"Like I said, if they're asking for your social security number, or your driver license number or like what we were talking about earlier like they were asking for eye color, hair color, height, things like that. That is part of your ID," said Campbell.

Kraus says sites like Monster Jobs, Yahoo Hot Jobs and Careerbuilder are good job searching web sites, but advises a job hunters check out a company before giving up personal information.  

"Make sure they read privacy policies and how security issues are handled" said Kraus.

As for Will and his job search, "I don't put personal information," he says and he's going to use more caution.  

So what do you need to look for? Make sure you see if the company has a privacy policy.  It will typically be a link in small writing on the bottom of the web site. It will tell you what they intend to do with your information. Another thing to look for is if the IP address starts out with "https://" which means it is a secured site.

Monster Jobs warns job seekers to watch out for fraudulent job opportunities, so does Careerbuilder and Yahoo Hot Jobs. All three of them also say they do not sell your personal information to third parties.

If you think you've become a victim, call the local Better Business Bureau at (806) 763-0459.

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