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Tips to help you avoid identity theft when applying for jobs

August 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
When you're filling out job applications, you write down a lot of personal information including your social security number which can put you at risk of identity theft. But there are ways to safeguard yourself.

Andrea Parra is a job seeker. The Diamond Bar recent college graduate has filled out a lot of applications, mostly online.

But one thing that bothers her is many job applications ask for too much personal information. And when she was younger, that was OK.

"I felt that the more information I divulged and the more honest I was the more valuable of a candidate that made me because it was showing employers that I was extremely honest and I was ready to divulge for them whatever they needed," Parra said.

But now Andrea worries about identity theft yet many employers require a social security number.

"Somebody could steal your identity with that information, apply for credit cards or apply for loans," Parra said.

Becky Frost is a Consumer Education Manager with Experian Consumer Services and their website called Protectmyid.com

She says, just like job seekers, identify thieves are looking for a paycheck too, your identity.

"If possible tell them that you will provide your social security number later on in the interview process, either at the time an offer is made, for payroll and tax information or if a background check is required, you'll provide it at that time," Frost said.

But if you have to put your social security number on the application, Frost says to make sure it's a secure website.

"Look up top at the URL for https to make sure that that's a secure site where you're putting your information," Frost said. "And again, if possible, don't put your social security number."

For added protection, Frost advises joining an ID theft service.

"Protect My ID is there to alert you to signs of identity theft and then to help you take steps to mediate any effects that are caused by someone using your social security number for various purposes," Frost said.

For more information, visit www.protectmyid.com.


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