Responding to a growing problem, online job site Monster.com is warning new and existing users about phony job listings that are being used to steal personal information from job seekers.
The company has posted a warning on its Web site that read, in part:
“Regrettably, from time to time, false job listings are listed online and used to illegally collect personal information from unsuspecting job seekers.”
The message goes on to warn users not to provide prospective employers with any information that is not pertinent to the job opening. Social security numbers, credit card numbers and personal information not related to one’s work history should not be disclosed, the message said.
Monster.com also sent a copy of the message to each of its users in an e-mail message that was received Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
In addition, an e-mail message greeting new Monster.com users also contains a warning to “always be safe when searching for a job.” A link to the company’s statement regarding identity theft is also provided.
Online job hunting message boards such as Monster.com, a subsidiary of TMP Worldwide Inc., have come under scrutiny in the past for poorly protecting the personal information of those who post resumes on the sites.
U.S.-based Monster.com competitor Careerbuilder.com said that it had already taken measures to protect the privacy of its users.
The company’s Web site offers tips to job seekers to protect themselves, according to company spokesperson Jennifer Sullivan.
That list of tips, which is almost identical to the list provided by Monster.com, has been posted on the Careerbuilder.com site at least since December, Sullivan said. The list can be found online at www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Info/Privacy.htm.
In addition, Careerbuilder.com offers a number of different posting options, from those offering low security and high visibility, to anonymous and private posting options that prevent personal contact information from being disclosed or retrieved using searches, Sullivan said.
Careerbuilder.com is owned jointly by Gannett Co. Inc., Knight Ridder Inc. and Tribune Company.
Sullivan was not aware of any complaints about identity theft resulting from a bogus job posting on Careerbuilder.com, but didn’t rule out that such thefts might have occurred.
In addition to its posted warning, Careerbuilder is looking in to additional measures to protect job seekers, Sullivan said.
No information on those measures was available, however, and Sullivan could not provide information on when they might be available to Careerbuilder.com customers.
For details about Monster.com, visit http://help.monster.com/besafe.