Protect Your Identity During Your Job Search

Protecting Your Identity and Money During Your Job Search

When using digital technology, users should always be mindful of the security of their information. Users should never include sensitive and personal information on resumes posted on any online service. Ultimately, you are responsible for protecting your identity during your job search, so be familiar with employment related scams! When using online services, you may encounter unsolicited emails, phone calls, or instant messages from unknown entities about possible job opportunities. Until you have verified the authenticity of a potential employer, never provide personal or sensitive information such as:

  • social security number
  • driver’s license number
  • date of birth
  • credit card number
  • bank account and/or bank routing number

Scammers also use online job search services to get money or "phish" for personal information from unsuspecting job seekers.  While it is reasonable to share personal information with a potential employer, it is wise to control when, how, and to whom personal information is provided. The following is a list of common schemes used by scammers:

  • Requests for any or all of the above information to conduct pre-employment background checks before you have checked-out the potential employer.
  • Requests for money or up-front fees to employ you, or for you to purchase a pre-paid debit card to pay the potential employer for an item (e.g. uniforms, tools, supplies, testing, etc.)  needed for your employment. Please be aware that the GDOL does not endorse any payments to an employer for "pre-employment" costs as a condition of employment.
  • Requests for non-job related information such as your marital status or physical characteristics.
  • Job offers made before a potential employer interviews you, or made immediately after an interview, especially if all contact is online or via instant messaging.
  • Employment opportunities which sound "too good to be true." They usually are!

Before responding to any employment opportunity, you should conduct research to verify the authenticity of the potential employer and the individual who is recruiting on their behalf. We suggest using the following methods:

  • Use internet search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
  • Find the organization's official website from the search engine, not from their email to you, as many scammers will set up fake websites using similar names as the real website. If you have concerns, use the information from the official website to call or contact the company to verify the job posting.
  • If you do not find the website or other information about the organization using a common search engine, check with the Secretary of State's Office of your state or the state they use in their address to verify registration of the company or check with the Chamber of Commerce in that city. The Better Business Bureau is also a good resource.

Additional information about employment scams is found on the website of the Federal Trade Commission.

Visit the Georgia Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Unit for more information on how to protect your identity, what to do if you are a victim of identity theft, and what scams have been reported.

Revised: August 15, 2023