Scam Alert: Don't take 'job'

06/15/2008 3:49 AM

06/15/2008 4:25 AM

THE SCAM: Bogus job ads

HOW IT WORKS: A group of rogue stock traders, posing as a fictitious brokerage firm, allegedly stole identities by placing classified job listings on Craigslist. The scammers asked for background information such as Social Security and bank account numbers for a "background check," then opened online brokerage accounts, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. After "hiring" individuals, the firm wired money to the victims' personal accounts from other accounts, then had the victims send that money to the brokerage accounts opened in the victims' names without their knowledge. The traders also used stolen user IDs and passwords to gain online access to existing brokerage accounts. Using the new and existing brokerage accounts, the traders used sophisticated strategies to trade and manipulate the prices of a number of thinly traded stocks.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Your identity

HOW TO BEAT IT: Beware job listings short on details, FINRA says, and requests for personal information and communication only by fax or e-mail. If in doubt, ask questions until you're satisfied. If you're still unsure, pass on the "job offer."

For past Scam Alerts, go to business/scam.

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