"There are identity thieves all over valid and existing job search websites who are posing as employers," she says.
How to Protect Yourself
Oaks' advice to job seekers is simple: Be wary of the information you're sharing and at which point in the hiring process you're sharing it. Here are six specific tips:
1. Never share your bank account information up front. Legitimate employers don't need to access your bank account until you become an employee, says Oaks. If they ask for it as part of the application process, it's a warning sign that this "employer" may be up to no good.
2. Never share your Social Security number up front. Legitimate employers will ask for your Social Security number only when they're serious about making a job offer (e.g., after they've interviewed you) and need to conduct a background check, or after you've accepted their offer and they need your Social Security number for tax purposes, says Oaks. Identity thieves will find sneaky ways to ask for your Social Security number up front. Don't fall for their ploys.