Job Hunt, Don't Lose Your Identity

Friday, October 30, 2009

If you're one of the thousands of Americans on the prowl for a job, you should be aware, you are a target for a sophisticated and particularly cruel con artist.

Richmond, VA - The Office of Consumer Affairs reports 87 consumer complaints about the companies Virginia Personnel, Inc. and New Beginnings, Inc. Both companies fraudualently extracted identifying and personal information from the "applicants." Some of the tactics they used that you should be aware of:

  • Job Guarantees - the old saying still goes, if it sounds too good to be true...
  • They actually sold "Employment Information" and never advertised a job position.
  • Do not include any identifying, personal information on your resume. No need to put your SSN number on that document.
  • Provide only your email address until a position is formerly offered and a start state is set.

Lynn Oaks of TrustedID says, "Only share information that will allow them to contact you to have a follow-up conversation." Also, check out the company before agreeing to anything. See if they have a legitimate website, read online reviews.

Biggest tip offs that you're working with a scam artist:

  • Job offer with no background check
  • No face-to-face interview
  • No reference check

Be careful out there!


Clearing the Air about E-Verify

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The staff at Liberty often receives calls from our users regarding the complicated rules of E-Verify, the government run program that utilizes information stored at the SSA and the Department of Homeland Security to screen for authorized workers.

I found an article today that exemplifies just such confusion, and even worse, the reporter doesn't provide any details regarding the relatively straightforward process for E-Verify.

Two workers for Chicago businesses have filed complaints against their respective companies about their termination for being unauthorized by the E-Verify system.

The employees claim they were wrongfully fired after E-Verify was used. In a broad statement that goes virtually unidentified, the reporter states "The the system has some widely reported flaws." The widely reported flaws are mostly generated by advocates against the system itself. Here are the statistics.

Employees cannot be fired until 8 federal working days after their Tentative NonConfirmation is returned. Employees cannot even be processed with E-Verify until after their Form I9 paperwork is complete and they are on payroll. Both these measures are designed to protect not the company, but the employee, against acts of discrimination. The measures are good ones, and will prevent the unlawful firing and denial of the right to work for those persons who are authorized to do so.


Virtual Borders

Monday, October 26, 2009

The immigration debate is about to heat up again. As we reported last week, a new bill to be introduced by Rep. Luis Gutierrez will likely stir the pot. But there is one thing that has broad agreement and reception, E-Verify as a virtual border.

As only 10% of the nations borders are considered secure, E-Verify seeks to eliminate the most powerful of paths for illegal immigrants, job security.

Over 8 million employees were entered into the government run program last year, and about 3% of those were denied jobs because they were undocumented workers. If use of the system was made mandatory, it would effectively eliminate the major enticing factor for illegal immigrants by denying them the job opportunities they risked so much for.

E-Verify holds promise as a system that will not only deter illegals from entering the county - they won't be employable without legal status, but as a way to unsettle established illegals. As the program grows and flourishes, it is expected that legal immigration will become more selective, allowing skilled workers more opportunity to gain legal status. It should also allow family members of legal workers the right to immigrate as well.

The implications of the program are great and the broad acceptance bodes well for reform, however, the debate for this season is just getting started. Liberty expects there will be changes in the climate for verifying your works and staying in compliance. Stay tuned...


Immigration Reform Calls for Employment Authorization

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D - Chicago) progressive stance on immigration reform can be found on a recent bill he will introduce to the House in coming weeks.
In an obvious stance for immigration rights, Gutierrez worked closely with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Gutierrez developed the bill to say, "If you come here to hurt our communities, we will not support you, but if you are here to work hard -if you are here to make a better life for your family- you will have the opportunity to earn citizenship."
  • The bill would likely enhance the troubles with E-Verify, used now by access the Social Security Adminstration and the Department of Homeland Security to ensure all workers in the US are authorized for employment. E-Verify has come under scrutiny for lag time in updating resources and the reporting of misinformation. In essence, E-Verify is an excellent program that targets employers and holds them responsible for employment decisions.
Among the demands to bill targets to meet are those of improving the verifications for a worker's legal status and a legalization program for unauthorized workers who've been in the US for more than 5 years and meet other criteria.
Not everyone agrees with these ideas. “Amnesty for illegal aliens is what this is all about,” said Dave Gorak, executive director of the Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration. “When you reward people for breaking law you only encourage other to do same,” he said.


Los Angeles City Councilmen Embezzle Thousands

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Los Angeles neighborhood council officials are unelected and unpaid. Apparently, they are also not subject to background checks to earn the role, despite the fact that many of them have access to large sums of taxpayer dollars.

It is one thing to have one or even two council members working together to embezzle money, but when half a dozen member make off with over $250,000, the city of Los Angeles should seriously reevaluate their vetting process.

89 LA neighborhood councils received $50,000/year to spend as they see fit upgrading playgrounds and business districts, removing graffiti and having neighborhood sponsored block parties.

Created in 1999 to empower communities, neighborhood councils provide a grass-roots like movement that allow people to have a say in how their tax dollars are spent. They ought to implement a background check as their first order of business for every councilman.


Real Advice about Falsifying Your Resume

Monday, October 19, 2009

Taken from the archives of "Dear Prudence" at, Prudence offers Remorseful Job Applicant great advice:

Dear Prudie,
I've been out of work for several months and have had trouble landing interviews—I have children and really need a job. My résumé is fantastic, with excellent references, but I do not have a four-year college degree. Finally, I got desperate and edited one of my résumés to show that I had a bachelor's degree from a college I attended 30 years ago. I sent it out only once (and have since deep-sixed it). The problem is that I received an inside referral to a job with an excellent company, hit it off with everyone during the interviews, and landed the job—contingent on my passing a background check. This is where I sent my falsified résumé. I completed the background check truthfully. But now my stomach is churning and I want to call the company, tell them what happened, and resign the position. I've never done anything like this before. It may be the worst thing I've ever done in my life.
—Remorseful Job Applicant

Dear Remorseful,
Do not resign! Contact human resources immediately and tell them there's a mistake on your résumé and that it should say you attended, not graduated from, your college. Let them know the background-check form is accurate. That may take care of the problem. If your call raises questions, be succinct and truthful. Say you made this onetime mistake in a foolish attempt to improve your résumé, you regretted it the moment you did it, and whatever else happens, you are relieved to have put things right. It's much better for you to come forward first before the checkers find the discrepancy. Yes, there's a chance they won't, but that's a big risk. If they miss it, and you do get hired, every time anyone says, "Marvin, can I see you in my office?" your stomach acid will pour. If you get the job and this comes out later, it could be a firing offense. And if this is the worst thing you've ever done, take pride in having led such an exemplary life.



Rampant Abuse of the Elderly: The Tribune Investigates

Friday, October 16, 2009

A three part series published by the Chicago Tribune this month exposed the mistakes made by Illinois nursing homes when caring for the elderly.

Mixed with the older nursing home patients were mentally ill felons. A dangerous combination of incomplete background checks on the younger criminals, low staffing, and a breakdown in reporting of assaults and crimes committed in the facilities

Illinois nursing homes have a good safety record, said Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, but he added that "the issue has always been people with criminal records -- what screening and what protections do you put in place. That will be looked at."

State Senate committees are currently meeting to fully investigate the matter and raise the standards for processing mentally ill criminals.


Retail Market: Employee Theft

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In a typical year, there are 6-7 cases of employee theft in the retail marketplace.

Industry estimates indicate that employee theft makes up 40-50% of all loss in the average retail store.

Retail stores are vulnerable to the practice, but have devised a method of fighting back. Top retailers in India have organized to develop a so-called "blacklist" to combat the loss of about $125 million dollars per year.

The list will include the names of people who exhibited unethical conduct, bad behavior, and who left without notice. It also includes thieves, though a typical background check should find that information as well.

In fact, the retailers should be aware that providing such information on an open list such as the proposed could violate privacy rights of the candidate's, though privacy rights in India may be much different than those in the United States where the candidate's information is protected until he or she authorizes its access.

The move is good in measure, but it is generally better to stick to investigative background checks and thorough past employment verification. These procedures standardize your hiring practices where as referring to a blacklist could leave you vulnerable to lawsuits.

For more information about background checks and strengthening your company's hiring practices go here.


Lying for the Job

Thursday, October 1, 2009

As the rate of unemployment steadily climbs, the competition in the job market heats up. The market belongs to employers with 10s, even 100s of applicants applying for each job posted. If you're among the many unemployed, searching for work, and quickly running out of money, the temptation to lie or exaggerate on your resume can be big, especially if you have something to cover up.

If you were fired for performance problems and don't acknowledge them, you could be offered a nice base salary and possibly a bonus to go with it. But if word about your performance issues spreads across the grapevine, as those types of words often do, you could be in for a world of pain. Your employer will likely terminate you for cause. What you might not expect: they can sue you for that hefty bonus, citing that your received it under false pretenses. Now you're out of a job and out of money.

According to a Stanford University study conducted some years back, more than 90% of resumes, in some respect or other, contain false or misleading information, ranging from slight embellishment to outright fraud.


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