Ask Asa: Beware Of Employment Scams
If you are unemployed, you know it's a jobless jungle out there. To help you navigate the unemployment terrain, NY1's Employment reporter Asa Aarons has answers to some viewers' questions.
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I’m looking for work and answered a job on Craigslist for an office assistant. The next day, I was asked to fill out the screening page on their website. At the end, it linked me to a credit reporting site that asked for more information and a credit card number. Legitimate?
Rita, in a word "no," it is not legitimate. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says a potential employer certainly can do a credit check on you, but if it's conducted by a third party, they have to get your written permission in advance. And, usually , the person doing the hiring pays for the check, not you.
The message you encountered Rita is making its way through Craigslist and other classified sites. People who have fallen for it say everything from the credit card number they gave the site was abused with phantom charges, or they experienced a sudden increase in junk mail and spam.
When you are unemployed, you are extremely vulnerable to things like this because they appear to offer that little bit of hope for you to cling on to. So don't let desire cloud your common sense.
There's a whole body of regulations covering your rights and credit reporting. Go to the Electronic Privacy Information Center at epic.org for more information.
If you have an employment story, a job, a new interview technique, or something you want to share with those looking for work or those doing the hiring, contact Asa Aarons at firstname.lastname@example.org.