Online job seekers warned of sending in CVs before checking destination for fraud

Job seekers have been warned to be careful about sending their CVs to potential employers' websites or online recruitment agencies.

An experiment involving...

Job seekers have been warned to be careful about sending their CVs to potential employers' websites or online recruitment agencies.

An experiment involving a fake website lured 107 people into submitting their CVs. The CVs contained information that left individuals vulnerable to identity theft.

Of the CVs received, 61 contained enough information to apply for a credit card, reports the BBC.

The experiment was staged during national identity fraud prevention week, which took place earlier this month.

It involved the police, the Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC), and online CV provider iProfile setting up a website for a bogus company called Denis Atlas.

This fake firm placed an advert in a national newspaper for a job as an office manager. It invited people to apply by sending in their CVs to the website.

The site attracted 107 people for the job, although a quick search of the website would have shown that it was in fact a fake operation, said the IAAC.

"Many people are happy to send in their CVs 'blind' without thinking about the consequences if their information fell into the wrong hands," the IAAC told the BBC.

The CVs submitted contained an average of eight different pieces of information that might have been useful to an identity fraudster.

The most common ones were full address and date of birth. One application even included a passport and national insurance number.

The most useful items of information for fraudsters, which should be omitted from an online CV, are date of birth, marital status and place of birth.

The Denis Atlas website explains to visitors its modus operandi. It says, "If you have arrived at this website it probably means you're researching a job advert we placed for the company Denis Atlas. Firstly, we have to tell you that both the company Denis Atlas and the job we advertised don't exist.

"We wanted to find out how many people would respond to a job advert without first checking out the details of the company, to ensure it is a reputable organisation, since very little is known about this at present. That's why we placed the advert and we've found that many people have sent their CVs without doing proper checks beforehand - you are one of the people who clearly decided to check the company out first, well done!

More on online CV fraud:

Stamping out the fraudsters >>

Read more on IT risk management

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