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Topics addressed on July 25, 2007:
Employment ad is a potential fraud scam
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?
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.
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- The "Ask Experian" team