Credit Advice

Employment ad is a potential fraud scam


Have a question?

Do you have a question about consumer credit? You may find an immediate answer by using the search engine. If you can't find what you're looking for, please fill out the form, being as specific as possible.

Please note: The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future column.

Our policies
The information contained in this column if for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation.

Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Column responses reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived responses may not reflect current Experian policy.

Credit Advice

Employment ad is a potential fraud scam

Dear Experian,

I am concerned because I responded to an online employment ad. The business was a staffing agency. The person met me at a coffee shop. At first it seemed legitimate. I gave out my Social Security number and other personal information for a background check. Is there a major possibility that this could have been a scam for identity theft? Does this stuff ever happen, or is this just a lady trying to run a business from her home and meets people in public to get things rolling?


Dear END,

Always listen to the little voice in your head. If it is telling you something isn’t right, there probably is something wrong. The person you are working with could be completely legitimate, but it doesn’t sound like it is worth the risk.

Contact your local chamber of commerce or Better Business Bureau. The company may have a license or record with one or both of them.

You also should see if the company has a business credit report. If it does, the report will give you insight into the business’s history, ownership, debts and public records, such as tax liens or judgments.

If the business does not have a license or business credit report, the chances of it being a scam are much greater.

Get copies of your personal credit reports and check them closely for indications of fraud. Add an initial security alert to give you some protection while you are getting the reports and reviewing them.

Also watch your bank and credit card statements closely if you gave account numbers to the person. If there are signs of fraud, notify your bank and credit card providers immediately.

You might consider subscribing to a credit monitoring service, such as Experian’s Triple Advantage, for extra peace of mind. The service will notify you immediately of any new activity in your credit report, enabling you to take quick action.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

  • © 2016 Experian Information Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.