Michelle was looking for a job, and Rock Island County, IL, was hiring. She was excited when she got an email, sent through recruiting site, Indeed, inviting her for an interview. But before she could schedule the interview, the recruiter needed just a few things. 

For the next step, please email me the following information directly to [redacted]

1 - The photos of your Identification Card or Driver's License - Front and Backsides
2 - A picture of your face (Selfie)
3 - The last four digits of your social security

Please make sure that you have:

- - attached all three photos

- - pics are not blurred

- - pics have a more than 800kb each size

- - all four ID's corners are visible (not trimmed)

- - all text is clearly readable

I'll be waiting for your message with all the required photos. After that, I'll make a quick check of your background and assign you time.

There is part of that that makes a bit of sense--companies do run background checks. But, Michelle felt uneasy and asked the question is this a scam?

The answer. Yes. 

A recruiter doesn't need any of this information before an interview. Even after an interview, they don't need a selfie, copy of your driver's license, or your last four digits of your social security number. If they are running a credit report, they need your whole social security number, and you have to sign a release for them to run the check.

Run like the wind from this.

What Happened?

Jim Snider, from Rock Island County, confirmed that this was a scam and did not originate from his office. He said, via email:

Thank you for your message. 

The recruiter, [redacted]  or [redacted] does not represent Rock Island County.  We have been in contact today with a  representative of Indeed.com and they have advised us of a breach in their system that allowed the above entity to communicate directly with job applicants to gain their personal information.  So obviously, this breach did not originate on our end.

An Indeed spokeswoman, on the other hand, countered:

Account security is of utmost importance to Indeed and something that we diligently monitor. Account holders are responsible for use of their password. Our investigation into this particular account showed evidence of compromise due to unauthorized password use - there was no security breach at Indeed. Our Risk Operations team identified the compromise immediately and took appropriate action on the employer account. We encourage job seekers to review our Guidelines for Safe Job Search.

Whatever happened, this scam artist figured out a way to breach the system and set out to find job hunters as victims.

People who are desperate for a job may take risks that others will not. Thankfully, Michelle recognized the problem and didn't provide the information. 

Remember, background checks come at the job offer stage, not before the first interview. 

And, as always, if you see a sketchy job posting, or get a creepy letter from a "recruiter,"  take a screenshot and send me the link at EvilHRLady@gmail.com