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Employment Identity Theft: What is it and How Does it Happen

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Employment Identity Theft: What is it and How Does it Happen

Oct 3, 2022
Money, Driver Licenses and A keyboard for identify theft.

There are many kinds of identity theft. All of them leave the victim in a compromised position and can sometimes have long-term ramifications on their prospects and opportunities. 

It is important to understand the different types of identity theft so that you can look out for warning signs that someone may be trying to victimize you and stop theft before it happens.  

One of the most prominent types of identity theft is employee theft.  

Employment theft occurs when someone steals another person's identity and uses it to get a job or pass a background check. Some experts believe employment theft to be the most prominent type of identity theft out there.  

So, what are some employment identity theft solutions? How do you know when you have been a victim of employment identity theft? And how does employment-related identity theft happen?  

Keep reading and we will answer the questions above and give you more useful information to help you combat employment identity theft.  

What is Employment Identity Theft? 

There are many scams out there. Employment identity theft may be one of the worst.  

It can take years to discover that you have been a victim. And once discovered, employment identity theft can have horrible repercussions on your reputation and livelihood.  

Fixing the problem can take years and in the meantime, you may face tax audits, lost tax refunds, and diminished future job prospects.  

Perpetrators participate in employment identity theft scams because they are struggling to get a job due to their checkered past.  

A criminal record, bad work history, or other issues can make it hard for someone to get a desirable job. These scammers often resort to stealing others' personal information to cheat the system and pass background checks using other people's personal information.   

The reason employment identity theft is so dangerous is that many background checks are not thorough and a scammer only needs some of your personal information to cheat you.  

Warning Signs of Employment Identity Theft 

During the job interview process, be on the lookout for signs of employment identity theft. 

These are the two biggest warning signs: 

  • Potential employers ask you for your credit card accounts or your bank account info for the purposes of a "background check"—especially if they haven't interviewed you yet. 

  • If you’re communicating with someone working for a potential employer, be wary if they’re using a personal e-mail address rather than a business e-mail account. 

Check out the US federal government’s database for keeping track of all employers that have done a background check on you here. If you do not recognize one or more of the listed companies that could be a sign that you have been a victim of employment identity theft.  

Here are some more warning signs of employment identity theft.  

  • An IRS notice stating you may be a victim of employment-related identity theft; 

  • An IRS notice asking you to verify unreported income, payments, or credits; 

  • An IRS notice to check your records to confirm your income re: an income discrepancy; 

  • A W-2 or 1099 from an employer for whom you didn’t work; 

  • A Notice from the Social Security Administration re: your benefits being adjusted or denied because of wages you didn’t earn; or 

  • A Statement from Social Security showing more income than you actually earned. 

Employment Identity Theft Solutions 

If you believe you have been the victim of employment identity theft, don’t panic. You have options to help rectify the situation. 

Once you have confirmed that you are indeed the victim of employment identity theft the first thing you should do is initiate fraud alerts or a credit freeze with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.  

Next, take the following steps: 

  • Get in touch with each business where an account was fraudulently opened. 

  • Keep copies of all documents and make sure to keep records of your communications in writing. 

  • Fill out the Identity Theft Report for the Federal Trade Commission. 

  • File a report with law enforcement. 

  • File a report with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Small Business Benefits with SOCA 

Your personal information is one of the most valuable commodities you have. You need a chamber of commerce that helps protect both your personal information and your employee’s information.  

Steps to protect your personal data include personal data monitoring, Social Security number monitoring, credit monitoring, and privacy.  

Does your local chamber of commerce offer these protections and services? 

If not, then it may be time to reach out to SOCA. SOCA offers small businesses all over the state of Ohio premium benefits such as Legal Shield IDSheild.

If you are looking for more protection for your business, then it’s time to reach out to SOCA now! 

Are you happy with the services SOCA has provided your chamber of commerce or small business? Leave us a review today! 

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