The Hiring Process The Local Job Market
I applied for a job that I found on Craigslist, and got a reply that invited me for an interview. However, before they schedule the interview, they want my Social Security number and credit report. I understand that I must give up my Social Security number to apply for a federal job, but this is not a federal job. And why do they want my credit report?
In all likelihood, this is a scam.
Employers do need your Social Security number once you are hired, to account for taxes and various other things. Some will also check your credit before making the final offer to hire you. And you are correct about federal jobs; if you donâ€™t give your Social Security number, your rÃ©sumÃ© will not be processed.
However, you arenâ€™t nearly that far along in the process yet. At the very least, you want to know why the employer needs that information. Feel free to email them (or respond in whatever way they contacted you) and ask, if youâ€™re interested enough in the job. Read the response critically, though.
This is how the scam goes: you apply for a job. Then you get an email saying that you seem to be very well qualified, possibly even better qualified than most of the other applicants. The response may have been sent at an odd time of day, probably the middle of the night. Theyâ€™d like you to come for an interview, but before they can schedule it, you need to provide various pieces of private information, such as a copy of your passport. There will be a link to what is supposed to be â€œone of the most trusted websites on the Internet.â€ You may need to give a credit card number to get more information. If you ask for more details about the job, their response will be very vague; their offices are in North America and Europe, perhaps, and the duties are largely unspecified. The benefits andÂ rate of pay may be surprisingly good. There may be many typos and grammatical errors in the email. It may say there is a problem with your information, and you need to click on a link to a website to correct it.
The least you can do in your own defense is what you should do for any job interview: research the company. Find out all you can about them: their mission, their product or service, how they do business, who their customers are, whatâ€™s going on in their industry. If feasible, go to their nearest office and find out whatever you can. If their information is vague or, worse yet, nonexistent, flee! You may be on the verge of losing your identity and your good credit rating.