I got a phone call from a recruiter for an "IT consulting firm" that wants to set up an interview for me with "HR." He has also sent me an email about this opportunity.

I got a second call, and he asked me about some experience with Windows 7. I said yes, but then he went on to ask me the first 2 digits of my birthday month and day (not year), and then he asked for the last four of my SSN (Social Security Number - US).

I did comply with the birthday, but was wary of giving my SSN over the phone, and questioned him. He said it's to verify my identity, so he can schedule me for an interview. It sounded suspicious, so I told him [as he suggested] to do some research and then get back with him.

I've worked at a bank for 2 years, I know how sensitive the SSN and DOB is. Should I trust this recruiter, or is this a scam?

  • 2
    If you've worked for a bank, and know how sensitive this data is, you probably have a better idea than us of whether to trust an unknown person with it. Nov 13, 2014 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


In the US it is not a practice to ask for that information before hire and no employer has a need for it unless you are hired. After you accept a position you may need to provide proof of age, if so required by the type of position. You will need to supply your social security number on your I-9 and W-4, both needed federal forms.

Never give that information before you have accepted a position. Furthermore, I would research this company and see what you can find out, especially in light of the fact that they contacted you.

If it is some type of phishing scam, that seemingly harmless and incomplete information is more than enough for them to cause you harm as it substantially narrows their search for your information. This 'recruiter' has essentially told you that as he says that he can verify your identity with it.


Is this a scam? Yes. Even if it's not, it's way beyond sketchy and you shouldn't want to deal with them.

Just some questions though, was this a cold call by the recruiter? Is this a company or head hunter? Is this a company you've applied to? Have you done research on the company? Have you ever met them in person on at their office?

If everything has been done through email and on the phone, and you haven't actually seen the office, I'd bet it's a scam.

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