Identity theft is a feature of modern society that is becoming more prevalent and featuring more often in the national media. It is a crime conducted by individuals, gangs and governments, effecting companies small and large with examples including Linked In, Sony Pictures various banks and travel companies. 

The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates that cybercrime costs British businesses £34 billion per year, including £18 billion from lost revenue(1) whilst a government report estimated that cyber crime is costing the UK £27billion a year with the public being defrauded to the tune of £3.1billion a year up from £1.2billion in 2008(2). 

Recent figures collated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates that fraud and computer misuse accounted for 5.8 million crimes last year. 

Of those, 2.5 million were bank and credit card fraud, 1 million consisted of online shopping scams and around 108,000 were romance type scams. 

Around 1.4 million people suffered computer virus attacks, with almost 650,000 people reporting that their email or social media profile had been hacked. 

With many cyber criminals based overseas, it makes it extremely difficult for the police to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice. 

At New Frontiers, we receive thousands of CV’s per month from job seekers worldwide and it has always struck me how freely and naively applicants provide sensitive personal information that criminals can utilise for identity theft and online fraud. 

Most people would say that they are cautious when it comes to providing personal and sensitive information but many CV’s will contain information such as National Insurance and passport numbers to show the applicants right to live and work in the UK. 

We also receive CV’s detailing parents’ names. Your mother’s maiden name can be particularly useful to an identity thief as it is one of the main security questions used by banks. This information combined with your name, address and date of birth provides all of the details that criminals need for a number of activities including applying for loans in your name or hacking your bank and email accounts. These details are not required on your CV! 

Fraudsters have used European employment law, which requires that all job seekers must be fully registered with their recruitment agency, as a way of gaining sensitive information. Agencies must request proof that candidates have the legal right to live and work in the UK including copy of passports and visas or national insurance numbers. Make sure that your agency is legitimate either by using a large, well known agency or visit the “Companies’ House” website to check their authenticity. Don’t get caught out by a made up recruitment agency. 

As well as applying to roles advertised on job boards, a popular method of promoting your CV to the market place is by loading it on to job boards to be viewed by recruiting companies and agencies. At New Frontiers we were made aware by a number of job seekers, mainly residing in Asia, who had been emailed that they had been offered a job by tour operators on the strength of their posted CV. To accept this role all they had to do was to pay for their travel and visa. From our understanding, a number of people where caught out by this scam netting the fraudster huge rewards for little effort. 

At New Frontiers, we actively promote CV safety in by omitting this sensitive information from any CV’s that we submit to prospective employers. 

Make sure that you don’t become a statistic. Most individuals are careful with their personal details but forget that their CV contains most of the information that a criminal needs. With cyber crime costing the UK economy over £27 billion a year, it is a crime which the criminals can commit from the luxury of their paid for, beautifully decorated, high spec homes, but one which most people, using a bit of common sense, can avoid! 

1: http://www.cebr.com/reports/60-of-british-ctos-say-uk-government-is-performing-poorly-in-protecting-firms-from-cyberattacks/ 

2: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/60943/the-cost-of-cyber-crime-full-report.pdf

Jose joined New Frontiers in 2000 working a variety of roles from recruitment consultant to in-house recruiter and staff trainer and now General Manager. Jose has a wealth of travel industry experience having worked in travel for 8 years prior to joining New Frontiers with roles in retail and for a tour operator.