enter image description here Based in UK I received this email from a recruitment agent.

Good signs:

  • I can find Lisa in LinkedIn.
  • Optimum IT seems a legit company.
  • Accurate job title and rate.

Smells (worsts first):

  • They ask for 4 last digits of my NIN. (Dodgy)
  • They ask for my DOB. (Dodgy)
  • My email is in capitals.
  • In UK usually does not disclose the client in an email.
  • Email came out of the blue to my account that could be easily reach in my Linkedin, blog, CWJobs, JobServe, CVLibrary, etc.
  • 2
    Please don't include personally identifiable information in questions - this has been removed.
    – user44108
    Apr 9, 2018 at 14:28
  • 2
    That pay equates to an annual salary of £156k ($220k USD, €180k) - are you in any way worth that amount?
    – David K
    Apr 9, 2018 at 14:37
  • 5
    @DavidK For what it's worth, £600/day isn't an unreasonable rate for a London based DevOps engineering, particularly with one of the merchant banks who are "less cost sensitive" than some. Apr 9, 2018 at 15:15
  • 1
    Couldn't you just call the company and ask?
    – Masked Man
    Apr 9, 2018 at 15:59
  • 1
    Even if the job is "legit" I don't see why the recruiter would need personal information.
    – Dan
    Apr 9, 2018 at 18:07

3 Answers 3


Very likely yes. It's written (from my US-Midwest perspective) just like a ton of low-grade, English-challenged, eight-states-away recruiter email that I get all the time, but none of them ask for confidential information such as DOB and SSN numbers.

Recommend not responding to it and mark it as junk mail.

Even if it is legitimate, chances are there will be multiple agencies attempting to fill this position and others will also contact you. Better to work with agencies that do not flat-out ask you for confidential information right away.


A long time ago a recruiter asked for my DOB and last 4 of my social to create an account. He told me to give him something fake that I'd remember if I was uncomfortable because the software creates profiles like that. Of course he told me up front about it instead of trying then explaining.

As such, I'm 50/50 on this. It may be a fake and you should go with your guts.


There's nothing wrong with declining to give out personal information.

I'm not comfortable giving out personal information at this stage. I'm sure you understand in this age of identity theft. I'm looking forward to giving you my details once Morgan Stanley and I know we're a good fit for each other.

I'm sure you can come up with a much better worded version, it's the best I can do before caffeine. The key is the second paragraph:

Please use the following data for your portal: 1/1/${your_year_of_birth} and 0000 as the last NI digits.

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