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Is it safe to divulge sensitive personal information to an employee of a company's HR department, over e-mail or the phone, either before or after receiving an offer? Should I do anything to double-check that the request is legitimate?

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I found this online recently and thought it would be good to raise awareness of recruitment fraud for anyone not aware of how this method may work:

It has been brought to our attention that third parties have been contacting job seekers and applicants to make fictitious job offers and obtain sensitive personal and financial information. These individuals may use the names of our recruiting and human resources staff and may ask the candidates to provide personal identifying information, send money, or cash checks. To help you avoid becoming a victim of this fraud, we wanted to make you aware of this situation and let you know the following:

We and our affiliated and subsidiary companies never solicit money, collect fees, or ask for financial information or passwords from job applicants. We would not ask you to provide sensitive identifying information, such as social security number, drivers’ license number, or banking information over the phone. If you are contacted about a job offer at our company, please verify the person’s name, title, and address in your communications and then contact them through our main switchboard at (telephone number). If you suspect you have been the victim of recruiting fraud, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.

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