It's the time of year when thousands of high school and college students seek summer employment, and more than ever before students are looking for jobs online through sites like Craigs List, indeed.com and citysitter.com. While it's easy to upload your resume and download an application, Attorney General Kilmartin reminds those seeking employment to guard their identity and don't fall for common employment scams.
"Online sites are a great way to search for job opportunities but they are also filled with the potential for you to be taken advantage of and ripped off," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "While no one can completely prevent identity theft from occurring, there are things we can do to minimize our exposure."
When job searching online:
Use caution when posting your resume. Make sure websites are secure, indicated by "https" and a padlock icon.
Take advantage of tools that allow you to hide your contact information when uploading information onto a website.
Never include your social security number, driver's license or date of birth in an online resume.
Protect your social security number. While it may be necessary to provide your social security number later in the interview and hiring process, legitimate employers should first be interested in your qualifications and job skills, not your social security number.
Don't apply for a position with a company you've never heard of without doing research first. Check out potential employers and independently confirm the employer's identity. This includes making sure the company has a legitimate address, location and contact information.
Be suspicious if an employer uses a common e-mail account like Gmail, Hotmail, MSN or Yahoo instead of a corporate domain. If an email address does not contain the domain name of the company, it is more likely fraudulent than fact. Also be suspicious if the employer only communicates by email or telephone and refuses to meet in person.
Don't take a job that requires a payment up front for a paycheck later. If you send the company money, you are unlikely to get it back.
Be suspicious if an employer asks for your bank account routing information for direct deposit. While legitimate companies may offer direct deposit for employees, they don't solicit that information. No legitimate company or opportunity requires your bank account information as part of the application/interview process.
If a company requires you to sign a contract or agreement, read and understand what you are agreeing to before signing it.
Be wary of any claim regarding "undisclosed employment" opportunities, especially positions in the federal government. All federal government positions are publicly announced.
If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Department of Rhode Island Attorney General at (401) 274-4400. You can download a consumer complaint by visiting our website at www.riag.ri.gov. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.