ID Theft Possible Problem for BC Workers

TexBaggingUpA recent suspicious case involving a contractor who hired dozens of workers on line but never showed up to meet the crew has triggered an RCMP investigation into possible ID theft.

ID Theft Potential Problem for Silvicultural Workers

ID theft is a major industry and a fast growing crime problem in the U.S. In many cases all it takes is a legitimate social security number and birth date to create a false identity. For the victims who’s numbers are used it can mean endless problems with their welfare cheques, credit ratings, and collection agencies. About half a million Americans are victimized annually by a black market where a stolen birth certificate or social security card can be worth up to US$3000.

Canadians face the same risks. In some cases those may be silvicultural workers who apply for jobs on the internet. A recent suspicious case involving a contractor who hired dozens of workers on line but never showed up to meet the crew has triggered an RCMP investigation. The contract didn’t exist and the behaviour of the contractor may indicate fraud. The unlucky applicants had all remitted their social insurance numbers with their applications.

Hard to track and even harder to prove this kind of fraud can at least be prevented by employee applicants not giving away their birth date or their social insurance number by phone or on line. The proper time to turn over this information is when you are on the job signing a work contract and filling out the required tax information; not at the application stage. Employers should also get out of the habit of requesting this kind of information from applicants prior to their hiring and commencing work.