Is it safe to send old passport copy to Recruiter just for interview? he is saying that I just need proof of resident in the State. I don't need your new one I just need a copy of your old DLC or old passport copy. One more question, Is it safe to share last 5 digits of SSN? Thanks

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    You don't need a passport to prove residence in a state. In fact a passport does not prove residence in a state. A copy of an official letter, like a utility bill, should do it. Also why does he need any part of your SSN? Or any of this information? – DJClayworth Mar 17 '16 at 15:23
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    What is the reason they want it? (I live in a country where it is illegal to ask for personal information like that without a specific reason). – DJClayworth Mar 17 '16 at 15:36
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    Depending on your age, the last 4 digits of the SSN are the only digits that are private. Until rather recently, knowing when and where you were born, it was pretty easy to guess the first 5 digits of a person's SSN with a high degree of confidence. – Justin Cave Mar 17 '16 at 15:57
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    Which country is this? Inferring USA from "SSN" but not clear. – user29055 Mar 17 '16 at 16:17
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    Given that a passport doesn't prove what he says he's trying to prove, this is EXTREMELY suspicious. Also asking for the last 5 digits of SSN is completely unnecessary. I'm suspicious that it's 5 because that's less than all 9, and not last 4 which would make you think "security questions." – stannius Mar 17 '16 at 17:51

In US, your passport only confirms your citizenship. Passport DOESN'T confirm state of residence.

I question the integrity of this recruiter, because s/he is requesting highly private information and supplying inadequate reasoning for doing so.

  • Plus you don't know how well he (or she) will safe guard that information. I never give anything other than my name/address/telephone/email to anyone who doesn't have clear PII guidelines posted in some official capacity. Think of it this way: if your credit/identification gets compromised, it doesn't matter how much you make. I learned recruiters share information and there's no way I would tell them anything. I still get calls on my parents phone from 10 years ago when I applied out of college. So imagine how long your personal stuff would stay. – Dan Mar 18 '16 at 15:43

In the US, NEVER send anything besides a resume and references to anyone until you have a written offer of employment. Don't offer references until after the interview. Never disclose your SSN until you have a written job offer. Some employers may require a pre-employment background check, but that will come after a written offer contingent on passing the background check.

Don't talk to recruiters unless they have a specific position they are trying to fill. Recruiters who call without a specific position are hoping to scam some money from you in some way.


OP has not given us personal details, but if OP is an immigrant, the recruiter may be checking he has entered the US legally. His passport should have a visa showing legal entry.

Having said that, let me address the actual question:

How safe is it to give your passport and Social Security information to a recruiter?

This is a question better asked on Security Stackexchange than here, but let me give it a shot.

First, the safety of handing over this kind of information is highly contingent on how much you trust this recruiter. Is this a person you basically have exchanged emails or talked on a phone a few times? If so, this is similar to handing over this information to a person on the street. Can you be certain this supposed recruiter isn't going to use this information for identity theft? Or even if this recruiter isn't an identity thief, given the lack of concern this person seems to have about your privacy, can you be sure that this recruiter doesn't just leave this information in some online email account guarded with the password "password"?

Note that while a passport number is not usually (at least in the US) used as part of identity verification except by certain governmental agencies, your passport does contain AFAIK the date of birth and possibly other identifying information that is used commonly on the Internet for identification purposes.

It is not at all safe to give the last digits of your Social Security Number. It is used as part of identity verification for various government websites and even for some corporate websites, e.g. insurance, banking, or credit cards (see this site for more detailed info).

This is no longer 1995. Most people are aware of identity theft and that SSNs are a security weakness. The recruiter is either ignorant or not very respectful of your privacy. Either way, I would not want to continue working with such a person.

The thing that raises suspicion is that this should all be part of the background check later. If the recruiter is legit, then the recruiter doesn't really trust you (or his/her candidates in general). I would not want to continue a working relationship with a person that clearly distrusts me from the start.

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