The convenience of looking for a job online is somewhat balanced by the ease with which scammers can exploit this process to steal money from you or make you a victim of identity theft. Merely because you find a job listing on a legitimate job site, such as Monster.com does not meant that the company is legitimate. Despite the best efforts of employment websites, scammers do get through.
If a company doesn’t even list its name, don’t even bother to respond to the advertisement. Real companies are not afraid of using their names in their ads. Stick to legitimate sites, such as Monster.com which at least make an effort to try to weed out the scammers. The key to identity theft is your Social Security number so do not provide your Social Security number on any initial job application. A problem, however, is that companies may do a background check on prospective employees and to do that effectively they will need your Social Security number. If you get to that point in the process call the HR department of the company at a telephone number that you know is accurate to confirm that indeed the job offer is a legitimate one and not just someone posing as that company. Finally, whenever you provide personal information online, make sure that the URL begins with “https” rather than just “http.” That letter “s” indicates that the information is being encrypted