Credential Theft

Roger RuleConsumer


This page describes how employers of illegal labor harvest credentials from the Resumes of job-seeking citizens. Please see a list of my credentials here.

In 2006 Consumer Reports magazine investigated the practice of professional pre-textors, which it described as aggressive, deceptive, completely unregulated, for hire by anyone, for any purpose, including documented murder by private clients.


CR INVESTIGATES: Your privacy for sale.


The use of employment pretext to acquire personal information is described below as another variation available to this unregulated data-collection business.

With 4.5 million job-seeker ID’s recently stolen from, ID theft became a global free-for-all with any Internet job offer or employment pretext.

Cisco on Monday 9/28/2010 warned that crooks have inundated LinkedIn with emails crafted to trick members of the career-oriented service to downloading software that loots bank accounts.

Employer ads on Craigslist solicit recruiting day conventions, to demand drivers license and social security numbers, then refuse employment without several stages of interviews. Sales performance charts in the conference room showed employee ranks with ~90% surnames from latin origin. There was no shortage of social-security numbers and photo-copied drivers licenses from job-seeking citizens, collected under the pretext of employment.

Victims are not always aware of ID theft when it’s carefully used to exploit illegal labor. At the same time the LA Times reported the trend of employment-seeking illegal aliens using stolen social security numbers in 2007, employment agancies were soliciting my credentials from, where my State maintains resumes from prior unemployment recipients, and out-of-work Union members seeking benefits.

The agencies told me they needed workers immediately, and required my application package sent by overnight mail. They explained US form I-9 requires photocopies of Social-Security card, Drivers license, and trade certifications. After sending my documents the employers would stop further contact. My first follow-up call typically discovered project delays, and after my 3rd call about three months later, the agents would claim laborers were running the project.

A key-word search shows ongoing arrests and reports of credentials stolen for illegal workers. National Public Radio reports Federal authorities arresting hundreds of illegal workers with stolen Social-Security numbers in Greeley, Colorado.

After mailing my own credentials three times to agencies that promised to hire me sight unseen, but refused to disclose a jobsite where foreman typically screen documents, this recruiting practice was reported to my State’s Employment Development Dpt. (EDD), which manages the Caljobs web site.

After explaining that prior construction contractors had always collected documents from me personally, at the jobsite location, and that copies of my Social Security card and State’s Electrical certifications were harvested by overnight mail for projects reportedly given to laborers, the Anaheim EDD director claimed the employers in question checked out fine. With no evidence of ID-theft or damages, the director told me no proof existed that registered EDD employers were harvesting my credentials for illegal workers or any other criminal purpose.

When EDD also failed to confirm these agencies had actually hired any job seekers, it was fairly certain to me that posting my personal data at CalJobs and other job boards had been all risk and no reward. These prevailing-wage scams, for construction workers, persist at, but now include a standard WARNING for the nefarious URL registrations.

However, trying to act on alarming reports and arrests in the news, it became clear resumes can’t be deleted at most job boards. CA State law requires employers to keep job-seeker applications for some years, which may explain why IT departments claim this information does not belong to me, and refuse to remove it. Updating data fields with random names and numbers is the only way to remove personal information from fruitless-resume repositories.

A recent twist to working-credential theft is the trillion dollar job stimulus that exempts employers from E-Verify. Here the US congress is seen “refusing to act” for its own job-seeking citizens, when employers would rather exploit illegal labor.

With the highest levels of US Government legislating safe harbor for ID thieves, job-seeking citizens must either surrender requested documents to any employment pretexter, or guard ID numbers with extreme prejudice before the final job interview.