Jobseekers have been warned to secure their CVs to protect against ID theft.
A controlled experiment by iProfile.org, the company placed a job advert for a fictional company in a national newspaper, inviting people to apply by emailing their CV.
Placed during the recent National Identity Fraud Prevention week, a total of 107 CVs were received, and a former hacker claimed that the vast majority contained enough information for an identity theft to occur.
Reformed identity theft criminal, Bob Turney, said: “Whilst many people now routinely shred things like bank statements and utility bills, they still seem happy to send their CVs to complete strangers. They need to realise just how easy it is to use the information in a CV to set up a bank account or take out a credit card fraudulently.”
Typically, criminals need just three out of fifteen key pieces of information to commit identity fraud – the average CV received as part of the experiment contained eight pieces of information.
61 CVs (57 per cent) included a date of birth, despite this no longer being a requirement due to age discrimination laws, and 98 (91.5 per cent) included a full address. A further 20 (19 per cent) put others at risk by providing full details of references. One even included the applicant's passport number and national insurance details.
Rick Bacon, CEO of iProfile, said: “With tens of thousands of people flooding onto the job market every week, the threat of CV identity theft should be at the forefront of peoples' minds. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the UK and sending your CV without first checking out where it's going or masking your personal details is akin to giving an ID fraudster your life history on a plate.
“We were shocked to find that 68 per cent of people sent their CV into our fake job advert without doing any background checks first.”
Detective Superintendent Russell Day, from the Economic and Specialist Crime Command, Metropolitan Police, said: “We are happy to support any campaign which aims to raise awareness of the growing threat of online identity fraud. We advise everyone not to post personal details on the internet which could collectively be used to clone your identity. This new campaign is an excellent method which could help prevent identity fraud and most importantly, protect you and your CV.”