This article has been adapted from the original posted by the Better Business Bureau. Craiglist is the biggest classified website worldwide and Gumtree is the equivalent in South Africa.

Gumtree scamsAs the economy recovers worldwide, more and more jobs are becoming available on sites such as Gumtree and plethora of other new job aggregation sites like CareerJet and JobRapido. These websites scan other sites with actual job listings and displays them like a Google search results page. Many people do not know how to select a credible recruitment website, and they tend to go with whatever the top listings that come up after searching.

But the increase in employment opportunities and resulting jobs listings also opens the door to scammers high jacking the names of real companies to put out job applications geared at identity theft, not employment. Even as the internet has made searching for jobs easier, it also provides an opportunity for ID thieves and scammers to take advantage of eager—and unsuspecting—job seekers.

We have received reports from job seekers that scammers have used the names of real companies advertising jobs on Gumtree to place false job applications asking for ID numbers. After checking with the local company whose name was used, the human resources director confirmed that the company does not ask for ID numbers on their applications.

We  recommend that job seekers never give out Social Security numbers until they are officially employed by a company. To do otherwise would create a real risk of identity theft, damage to credit scores and financial loss.

We offer the following tips to avoid being taken by this or similar Gumtree scams:

  • Exercise Caution. When using social networking sites like Facebook and online employment sites such as Gumtree, be sure to check the actual Web site of the company posting the position to verify it actually exists. If you don’t see it on their site, chances are it’s a scam.
  • Guard Your Resume. Some job seekers have uploaded their resume online but remember to make sure you only upload it for a legitimate purpose and company. Resumes often contain personal information, ripe for identity theft thieves.
  • Do not give too much information until you are hired. Jobseekers should become suspicious if asked for certain personal information on a job application. Never give out Social Security or bank account numbers over the phone, internet or e-mail.
  • Start with Trust. Many scams use names that are similar to reputable companies to trick job seekers. BBB recommends that job seekers check out the company first at and to apply through the actual company site whenever possible.

NB! You will do well to read this discussion on Gumtree scams on the very popular MyBroadband forums.

source: Better Busines Bureau

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