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Identity thieves targeting job seekers

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Apr. 19, 2011 at 5:03 p.m.



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ERDA -- The job search has been tough for 18-year-old Jessica May.

"I've probably sent about 30 resumes out a day," she said.

So when May saw a job listing for a receptionist on Craigslist last week, she quickly applied.

"I thought, what a great opportunity," she said. "I filled it out, sent in my resume. They sent me an email back saying I was more than qualified for the job."

The company said she'd be given a company credit card, but because of bad incidents with prior employees it required a credit check.

When Jessica May saw a job listing for a receptionist on Craigslist last week, she quickly applied.
When Jessica May saw a job listing for a receptionist on Craigslist last week, she quickly applied.

On April 13, May got an email saying the job was hers after she performed the credit check online. May clicked on a link, included in the email, which turned out to be a big mistake.

"They have my address, my age, my birthday, my credit card information, my PIN, my social. Everything," May said.

"When I realized what she did on it, it broke my heart because I had a feeling it was too good to be true," said May's mom, Marie.

And it was.

The scammer used May's information to try and withdraw $200 from her bank account, but the bank caught it and didn't allow the transaction.

But the scammer still has her personal information.

"Frankly, the notion of providing your personal information to anyone, whether you‘re 18 or 88, is a no-no," said Francine Giani, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce.

Giani says scams originating with classified ads are unusual but not unheard of, and more job hunters could soon find themselves a target.

"Obviously, someone looking for work can least afford to have someone ripping them off because they are already struggling, given their economic circumstance," she said.

Giani says people need to research a company and people they're dealing with when looking for work. She says teenagers should also talk to their parents before applying for any job.

Email: syi@ksl.com

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