Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Privacy watchdog warns job seekers to beware

Filed under
Security

Online fraudsters are increasingly taking advantage of vulnerable job seekers by using online résumés to steal their identity, a privacy expert warned this week.

The threats range from job fraud, where a criminal group poses as a legitimate employer to launder money, to the sale of résumé details to database companies for use in background checks. The seemingly small act of posting a résumé publicly can have significant impact: over the past year, more than a dozen Americans have been accused of a felony because their identity has been used for online crime, said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum.

"If you post your résumé publicly you are asking for identity fraud," she said during an interview with SecurityFocus. "If you have a fantastic résumé, that puts you at a high risk, because your identity will get nabbed, and they will use your information to set up a new account in your name and do criminal acts and it will look like you participated in this scheme."

Ironically, the major résumé services offer tools to help job seekers keep their identity private from the public, but workers fail to take advantage of the features because they do not understand the dangers, Dixon said. However, a majority of résumé services still don't take the issues seriously, she added.

Dixon presented the findings of several studies authored by the World Privacy Forum at the Computer, Freedom and Privacy Forum last week in Seattle. In addition to identity-theft dangers, other privacy problems exist as well. She warned that inaccuracies in employment databases have hurt people's chances of getting the job.

The campaign to raise awareness of job fraud and inaccuracies in employment databases comes as major data leaks by companies such as ChoicePoint and Bank of America have raised public awareness of identity theft.

In a typical case of job fraud, for example, a criminal group will contact a job seeker offering employment handling money transfers. For each transfer -- usually of a sum just below the federally mandated $10,000 reporting requirement -- the "employee" gets to keep 5 percent.

Other criminal groups pose as employers and attempt to convince job seekers to give up sensitive information, such as social-security numbers and bank account information.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Blackphone unveils a new phone and tablet running secure, encrypted Android

Today at Mobile World Congress, the encrypted phone system Blackphone announced a new phone and tablet, along with a new business focus on enterprise. The phone is called the Blackphone 2, a successor to the first Blackphone shown at MWC last year, but adds a new processor, better screen, and a larger profile overall. The tablet, called the Blackphone+, is slated for release in the fall. Both run Blackphone's secure OS, forked off of Android, which is designed to protect metadata and provide end-to-end encryption throughout. Read more

Oracle VirtualBox Updates to run on Linux 4.0 Kernel

The open-source VirtualBox virtualization project is out with its 4.3.24 update today providing a number of important updates and bug fixes. Read more

Qbo Is an AI-Driven Ubuntu-Powered Cute Little Robot - Video

We've seen some interesting devices coming out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the small Ubuntu-powered Qbo robot is just one them. Linux fans already kind of knew what to expected to see in Barcelona. Many Ubuntu fans were looking to check out the first Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition phone and their curiosity was satisfied, but now we have something that it's equally interesting, and that is a small robot. Read more

Ubuntu MATE Is One of the Last Major Distros to Officially Support PowerPC

Ubuntu MATE has been providing PowerPC support for some time now, but the developers have made some serious improvements to this particular feature in the latest 15.04 Beta 1 update. Read more