|Protect your CVs against ID theft
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As thousands flood onto the jobs market, a controlled experiment by iProfile.org shows people are exposing themselves to identity theft risk
Job hunters are being warned to secure their CVs after experts showed how freely people share their resumes with strangers, effectively handing over all the information criminals need to steal their identity.
In a controlled experiment, supported by the Metropolitan Police and the Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC http://www.iaac.org.uk), iProfile.org placed a job advert for a fictional company in a national newspaper, inviting people to apply by emailing their CV. The advert was run during the National Identity Fraud Prevention week. Anyone carrying out a simple web search for the company – ‘Denis Atlas’, an anagram of ‘steal an id’ - would have found a website telling them the company was fake. In just one week, 107 CVs were received in response to the job advert. iProfile enlisted the help of reformed identity thief, Bob Turney, to analyse the CVs and discovered that the vast majority contained enough information for an identity theft to occur.
Rick Bacon, CEO of iProfile, said: “With tens of thousands of people flooding onto the job market every week, the threat of CV identity theft should be at the forefront of peoples’ minds. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the UK and sending your CV without first checking out where it’s going or masking your personal details is akin to giving an ID fraudster your life history on a plate. We were shocked to find that 68% of people sent their CV into our fake job advert without doing any background checks first.”
Reformed identity theft criminal, Bob Turney, said: “Whilst many people now routinely shred things like bank statements and utility bills, they still seem happy to send their CVs to complete strangers. They need to realise just how easy it is to use the information in a CV to set up a bank account or take out a credit card fraudulently.”
Typically, criminals need just three out of fifteen key pieces of information to commit identity fraud – the average CV received as part of the experiment contained eight pieces of information. 61 CVs (57%) included a date of birth, despite this no longer being a requirement due to age discrimination laws, and 98 (91.5%) included a full address. A further 20 (19%) put others at risk by providing full details of references. One even included the applicant’s passport number and national insurance details.
ID Theft Protect suggests that you register for the SBS e-Guide to find out how you can protect your online and offline identity when looking for a new job.
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