Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 15:38 UK

Job seekers warned over CV theft

Computer keyboard
People should be as wary about sending CVs as buying goods online

Job seekers have been warned to be particularly careful when sending their CVs to employers' websites or online recruitment agencies.

An experiment involving a fake website lured 107 people into submitting their CVs, full of personal information that could have led to identity theft.

Of the CVs, 61 contained enough information to apply for a credit card.

The experiment was staged during the recent national identity fraud prevention week earlier in October.

It involved a CV company called iProfile, with the backing of the Police and the Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC), setting up a website for a bogus company called Denis Atlas.

The fake firm placed an advert in a national newspaper for a job as an office manager, inviting people to apply by sending in their CVs to the website.

Although 107 people did so, a quick search of the website would have shown that it was in fact a fake operation.

Personal details

"Many people are happy to send their CVs 'blind' without thinking about the consequences if their information fell into the wrong hands," said Neil Fisher of IAAC.

The CVs that were submitted contained an average of eight different pieces of information that might have been useful to an identity fraudster.

The most common ones were full address and date of birth. One application included both a passport and national insurance number.

"We advise everyone not to post personal details on the internet which could collectively be used to clone your identity," said Det Supt Russell Day of the Metropolitan Police.

The most useful items of information for criminals, which should be omitted from an online CV, are date of birth, marital status, and place of birth, according to iProfile.

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