Target 11 uncovers scheme to steal your credit information

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PITTSBURGH - Target 11 has uncovered a scheme to steal your credit information.  It's part of our on-going investigation into crooks on Craigslist.  Consumer Investigator Robin Taylor found out how this one targets people searching jobs.

Crooks are posting phony jobs on Craigslist and other employment websites, and then, they're waiting, hoping job seekers will take the bait.  The “help wanted” ads look real.  It's what happens next that should sound the alarm bells.

"I applied to a regular job that seemed perfectly normal," said Susan Padezanin of East Palestine, Ohio.

Susan applied for a job as a receptionist that was posted on Craigslist.  She got a very nice email back saying she was one of the candidates chosen for an interview, but then came the unusual part.

They wanted her to click on a link and supply them with her credit report.

"I was pretty suspicious about that," said Padezanin.

She didn’t fill out the form and it’s a good thing, because it was a phishing scheme.  The link looked like it went to a legitimate credit agency, but it didn't.  Instead, it went to a phony page that has now been pulled down.

When Susan didn't respond, the emails took on a different tone, demanding she fill out the information immediately.

"The emails were badly spelled and not grammatically correct," said Padezanin.

The Better Business Bureau says that should be a red flag.

A closer look at the letter also revealed another warning sign.  The name of the company wasn't listed.

"You should always be able to tell who the company is that you're applying for the job with.  You should be able to find out their contact information, their website, a physical address for the location," said Caitlin Vancas, a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Better Business Bureau.

Hearing that you’re a finalist for a job may seem like good news, but Susan says don't let that cloud your judgment because the crooks can be very deceptive.

"It looks legitimate.  It looks like a company that's just looking for the next step," said Padezanin.

She showed me a dozen letters that were from crooks trying to steal her personal information.  They got Susan’s email address after she applied for bogus jobs.

It just goes to show, you have to be very careful when you're applying for jobs online.