Job seekers beware: avoid potential ID theft from online want ads

With jobs in short supply, spotting an online help wanted in your field might appear to be just what the doctor ordered. However, BBB suggests consumers use caution when responding to such ads, especially if a prospective employer asks for your Social Security number or driver’s license number. The employer shouldn’t need that information until you are actually offered the job.

A consumer recently contacted our BBB about an ad for a company he found on Craigslist. The consumer said he responded to the ad and was sent an application that asked for his Social Security and Drivers License numbers, which is a red flag unless you know the company.

BBB suggests that you avoid providing a SSN on a job application until you have a verifiable job offer from a company you trust. Doing otherwise could put you ad risk of identity theft.
Before taking a chance with your personal information, check out the company. Go to trusted websites like or Google this company’s name and the word “scam,” “fraud,” “rip-off” or “government action.” Go to domain name registries and search for the company. Check with your Secretary of State and other business licensing entities.