In the UK the government have issued rules to recruitment agencies that they must collect proof of identity by way of copies of passports and driving licences before the agency can work on your behalf, same rules apply with corporate HR.
If ever there was a half baked idea and an invitation to phishers and scam merchants this has got to be it, rules that ID cards will only provide assistance to the scammers.
You think you may have found your next job. The online
recruiter seems to like you, and the salary sounds fantastic. You spoke
to the recruiter on the phone, and he's offered to fly you overseas for
an interview. In fact, you faxed him a copy of your passport so that he
could get you a ticket.
But now you find out his phone and fax have been disconnected,
and he doesn't answer his email. You call the company headquarters, and
they say they've never heard of him. He and the job opportunity have
both disappeared — along with your passport, and potentially, your
Think such a scam sounds far-fetched? Think again. Researchers at
Cyveillance and Monster.com are warning enterprises and prospective
employees that this very scenario is happening with greater frequency
than ever — and they're taking steps to stop it.
“It's really a type of phishing, though it probably needs its own
name,” says Terry Gudaitis, director of cybersecurity at Cyveillance.
“We're seeing a growing number of phishers using the names of
multinational enterprises and online recruiting sites to scam users
into giving up their personal information, just as they do with banks
and financial institutions.”
Cyveillance, a service that searches the Web for risky or
suspicious behavior by employees, prospects, and brand thieves, has
been monitoring the exploit for some time, and law enforcement agencies
are “very aware” of it, Gudaitis says. Cyveillance yesterday announced
that it has signed a contract to help Monster.com detect the misuse of
its brand, and to help stop this recruiting fraud.
“In the same way that Microsoft and AOL have helped users to
detect and block URLs that are associated with traditional phishing
attacks, we're partnering with Monster to find and block these
recruiting scams, not just on Monster.com, but on other sites as well,”
The recruiter scams take many forms, but the phisher usually
starts with a spam message or by placing an ad on a job hunting site
such as Monster.com, Cyveillance says. The phisher typically represents
himself as a recruiter for a well-known multinational firm and requests
personal information such as name, address, and Social Security number.
But in some cases, the phisher goes beyond this initial scam and
actually speaks to the user on the phone, Gudaitis says. Posing as a
human resources representative or a headhunter, the phisher might go as
far as to do an initial interview of a prospective employee — and then
invite the victim for an in-person interview at the company's overseas
The phisher will then ask the victim to fax a copy of a driver's license or passport — and then disappear.
“This is a risky approach for the attacker, because they have to
give a phone and fax number, then get the information and pick up and
move before they're detected,” Gudaitis observes. “But a photocopy of a
passport is pretty valuable — in most countries, you can go to an
embassy and get a new passport if you have a copy of the old one.”
Such attacks also can be more difficult to detect immediately,
Gudaitis notes. “In traditional phishing, event A usually results in
action B — you give up your credit card number, and someone else uses
it,” she says. “But in the case of recruiting fraud, someone might be
using your passport halfway around the world, and you might never know
Recruiting fraud also has more potential to spread than, say,
banking fraud. “Just about every company posts jobs online, either
through its own site or through a site like Monster,” Gudaitis
observes. “So this sort of thing could happen to any company in any
Companies should stay vigilant about the use of their names on
the Web, and they should set policies on how they communicate with
prospective employees so that attacks which deviate from those policies
are easier to detect, advises Todd Bransford, vice president of
marketing at Cyveillance. Cyveillance uses Web crawlers and researchers
to detect the use of a company's name — or the names of its favorite
recruiting firms — in recruiting scams.