Consumer Reports Webwatch: Tips for Safe Online Job Seeking


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Senior Director of Federal Policy and the Washington Office


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  • Do not post personal information – including Social Security Numbers, birthdates, bank account numbers – on your résumé online. .
  • Do not give your bank account or credit card information to a potential employer, even if he or she requests this information for the stated purpose of depositing your paycheck into your account electronically. Legitimate employers will offer another way for you to be paid, such as via traditional paper paycheck.
  • Do not e-mail a scan of your driver’s license or reveal any physical descriptions about yourself.
  • Never pay up front for any job opportunity. You should not have to invest your own money to make money with a job.
  • Be wary of ads seeking an “import/export specialist,” “marketing manager,” or “financial manager,” says the Better Business Bureau. These job titles have been linked to scams in the past.
  • Be cautious of ads hawking business opportunities in the vending machine, pay phone, medical billing and work-from-home arenas, says the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • If you suspect you’ve encountered a fraudulent job ad online, report it to the FTC, at 877-382-4357.