Job Search Credit Check Scammers Still Roaming The Internet

Molly writes that her brother has been looking for employment for a long time, and finally received a tentative job offer for a job in a warehouse. It’s underemployment, but it’s employment, right? The problem is that the agency doing the hiring seems kind of shady to Molly. They want to verify that her brother is a U.S. citizen by having him use a “free” credit score service, and e-mailing them the score. Molly’s right: it’s a scam.

My brother has been in the unemployed ranks for over a year, and he finally got a bite! The job recruiting company has made him a tentative offer for a warehouse job (with his Berkeley degree, but that’s another story!), but the email they sent to him requires him to go to a credit monitoring site and “sign up” with them. This looks like one of those scammy “Free Credit” sites. The link they sent sends you to a site called “Triple Scores”. They CLAIM this is to verify his citizenship (the job is located in San Diego, CA). Can a credit report even DO that? They aren’t at all requesting his Social Security card or anything else (until he shows up for the job).

I know that many employers will pull your credit report, but is this a normal practice to request that HE do it? Is this a scam?

Yes, it is a scam. A person can have an American credit history without being a citizen, and plenty of citizens are eligible to work but have no credit history. This is a variation of a scam that we’ve written about before. There is no job; the point is to direct you to sign up for the site’s “free” services that aren’t free at all.

This is an obvious scam, but it’s new enough to many people that we frequently get questions about it. The “we just need your credit report” ruse works for apartment listings, too. It’s common enough that employment pages on Craigslist in some cities now warn job seekers specifically about affiliate scams lurking behind nonexistent jobs.

Molly clarified that her brother has not interviewed for this job in person, and the “job offer” came by e-mail. Here’s the message he received:


Hiring Staff is a staffing and recruitment company with thousands of satisfied clients across the nation. We offer successful candidates the opportunity to work for our clients in full-time or temporary positions. The email you replied to is a tentative offer of employment for the available position with [a real company] at [real company’s address]

As you know, this position pays a generous hourly wage of $12.50-$16.85 base on experience, with great health benefits, and also provides potential to earn significant overtime income if you choose to take advantage of that, when the opportunity arises. We are hiring rapidly at this time, and are fully prepared to make you employment offer, provided that you comply with the rest of the recruitment terms.

This is a full-time position. You will picking, packing, receiving, and restocking products. Finishing carton by sealing, prepare pallets and tagging the pallets. Loading the pallets and other duties which will be explained and taught during training.

To accept these terms and move on to the next stage of the recruitment process, you must provide us with a current copy of your credit report/score to go in your employment file. The distribution center has been having trouble hiring illegal citizens, and this prevents from that happening. [Real Company] has request us to pre-screen
all possible candidates for their credit report.

Your credit report/score will not matter, as it’s rather an easy means of verifying your identity and valid citizenship in the US. Below will be a link to obtain your credit score for $1, and once done so, we will be noticed and process you for orientation and provide the address and further instructions. We are hiring 5 workers, but please act
promptly, or the job might be taken. You will need to bring 2 forms of identification with you to the orientation, usually ID and Social Security

Your free score can be obtained here:

We appreciate your interest in joining the team, and hope you decide to come aboard!"

Don't Fall For The Job Hunting Credit Report Scam
Scammers Advertise Fake Apartments, Want Your Real Credit Information


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ben Popken says:

    You mean they didn’t just give up? ;P

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    What, you mean companies don’t just hire people off the street and give them a salary without ever meeting them? Really? Come on, let’s be serious here. It’s an obvious scam. Molly was right to be suspicious and her brother shouldn’t have taken the bite.

    • rushevents says:

      Look at who this is targeting… warehouse workers. Most of whom have a high school degree or less and are less exposed to this type of scam. They have been told all their lives by HR types (me being one) to give all their ID’s and histories every time they change jobs so they will be less likely to clue in on the scam in question.

      those scammers are pretty nefarious.

  3. SG-Cleve says:

    How low do you have to go to scam money from people who are already in financial straits?

  4. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I imagine these are working because a lot of people are desperate at this point and will look into anything just to be working again.

    Scammers who prey on them should be flogged naked with a cat-o-nine-tails tipped with razorblades and then doused in rubbing alcohol.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I get these every singe day. They’re so aggravating. None of them have looked nearly as legitimate as this one has, though. I mean, it still seemed scammy at the beginning, but wasn’t completely 100% scam until you get to the bottom and it asks for the credit check.

    • lyllydd says:

      You forgot the mace and Tabasco sauce!
      I set up an e-mail specifically for the job search, and I kept getting this kind of crud. I even got some for which the scammers were hiding behind legitimate companies.
      I contacted the companies, and filed complaints with the FTC. Gawd, I love online complaint forms! After so many of those, though, I’m pretty sure the FTC hates me…

  5. Tim says:

    If I didn’t know what I know from Consumerist, I might fall for this. I know a lot of companies are checking people’s credit reports, and when you add in there the illegal immigrant thing, it makes sense.

    Plus, they’re not actually offering to hire the person after he simply gets his credit report; they’re saying that’s just part of the process. If it were like that, I might be more suspicious.

    • Aesteval says:

      The big difference is that when a legitimate job offers needs to get a credit report on the applicant, the hiring company (or agency) pays for and acquires the report directly from the reporting agency. For a report to be valid (credit report, educational transcripts) it has to be provided directly from the holder of the report to the receiver without the risk of tampering. In some cases the applicant may have their hand on it, but the standard practice in that case is through a sealed and tamper evident manner.

  6. Dallas_shopper says:

    That reeks of scam. I’d have deleted it as spam and not given it a second thought.

  7. RandomHookup says:

    Nothing like a tentative job offer with a pay range instead of a definite hourly rate. Walk away from this one. There are very easy ways to verify you can work in the US and a credit report isn’t one of them.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Most jobs have salary ranges that depend on experience.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Not in the “tentative job offer” — it’s dangerous to tell people ranges when discussing the job — they only hear the top end.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          Definite rates always make me go “BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA,” because they’re inevitably rock-bottom. I’d rather the HR person not take me for a complete moron.

  8. jessjj347 says:

    The email from the “recruiting company” has tons of grammatical mistakes, which makes me think it’s fake. It also seems strange that the email focuses so much on a credit score. Also, usually recruiters won’t even tell you the company name until they know you’re interested in a position and talk to you for a while, but I guess that depends.

  9. tbax929 says:

    If someone sent me an “offer” letter with that many grammatical errors, I’d assume it was a scam. I think scam artists would have more success if they’d take the time to learn proper English. That being said, I’m sure a lot of their victims haven’t learned it, either.

  10. alienaa says:

    As others have said, the grammatical errors would raise a huge red-flag. Something else is to look at the domain of the emailer. If it’s a free account (live, gmail, hotmail, etc, etc), and it’s regarding employment, it’s a scam.

  11. GearheadGeek says:

    In addition to the grammatical errors pointed out by others, this temp-agency job is touted as having “great health benefits.” Yeah, right. I guess they’ve exhausted the pool of people who believe they’ll be paid $1k/week for “working from home” for random internet scammers and they’re going for people looking to do manual labor now.

  12. The Marionette says:

    Any “job” that requires that you do your own credit check should be avoided. Also any job that offers to send you any kind of check beforehand. A long while back I looked on craigslist to see if any jobs were hiring, funny enough it was a warehouse job and they were going to pay pretty well. I sent an email with my “resume`” (a very basic one for online use). They replied back and part of the email said something to the likes of “we’re hiring in your vicinity” as soon as I saw that part I knew something was fishy seeing as they couldn’t tell me the exact address or even city for that matter. Of course I started screwing around with them and they said about sending me a check that pretty much proves my trust to the company. It was a check for $1000 and I would have to deposit it in my account and send $800 of it back to them and keep $200 as a “gift”.

  13. RvLeshrac says:

    People keep saying the grammar tipped them off. These people have clearly never worked in any office using email for communication.

    That email is FAR, FAR, FAR better than 90% of the garbage I have to sift through. I see the same horrific grammar constantly, from the lowest stock-clerk to the highest VP. Income and “education” don’t seem to make much of a difference.

  14. Conformist138 says:

    If an employer needs your credit report for a job, you will fill out a form giving permission and they will run it themselves. Same for criminal background checks. Anyone who wants money, or a sign-up for some service, or anything else like that is a flat-out scam or at least a suspicious company you probably will regret working for.