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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard a lot about the threat of identity theft. But were you aware of the startling statistics around its frequency? Approximately a third of all U.S. adults have experienced this devastating form of cybercrime. In 2019, there were 14.4 million victims. So, it’s natural to be concerned when anyone, including a recruiter, asks you for personal information. But in the case of legitimate organizations and staffing agencies, there’s a reason why it’s done.

About Vendor Management Systems

A vendor management system (VMS) is a web application that helps businesses procure and manage staffing services, as well as outside contract or contingent labor. VMSs have significantly grown in demand over the past decade, as the need for temporary labor has risen. Along with this trend has come the need for companies to acquire systems and processes to manage such workers.

  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number (***-**-1234) and your birth month and date (01/01/****) help VMSs create unique identifiers to track jobs you have applied for, interviews and their results, and related information.  Your profile can not be submitted with out it in many cases.

Just remember: You NEVER have to provide your full Social Security Number or birth date for this purpose.

How to Outsmart Scammers

Online job seekers can be prime targets for scammers looking to steal identities. Be sure the positions you apply for and the sites where you find them are reliable and legitimate. Be alert for:

  • Scammers who prowl sites for personal information. Get reliable recommendations and check the privacy settings of any job site you think about using.
  • Fake job listings: Some scammers post fraudulent openings. Before making you an offer or even meeting with you, they may ask for your bank account number under the guise that they would be paying you via direct deposit. Or, they may ask for a copy of your utility bill, which contains bank information, or for a background check. They then use this information to set up an account under your name. Ruthless and shameful, but all too common!
  • Direct email: A scammer might email you directly, pretending to be a representative of a legitimate job site. They may even offer you a job you didn’t apply for. In many cases, these are positions that sound too good to be true; for instance, the office may be in a prime location and offer over-the-top perks. Too good to be true usually is.
  • Unemployment scams: No one, but you can file for an unemployment claim for yourself. If you ever get such an offer, hang up or log off. Scam unemployment websites collect personal information to use for fraudulent purposes, including identify theft.

Work with Search Wizards

It can be tough to tell the difference between scams and legit job openings and sites. Be sure to work with a reputable recruiter with the track record to prove they’re above board, well-qualified, experienced, and 100 percent on your side as you conduct your search. To learn more on this and all things career-growth related, contact the Search Wizards team today.