With more Americans looking for work, there's one industry that's booming: identity theft.
Overall, these crimes are up 22 percent, and the unemployed are increasingly becoming victims. The Identity Theft Resource Center says bogus help-wanted ads have quadrupled in the past few years. Many job seekers are desperate ... and these scammers KNOW it. People who would normally never give out their Social Security number or other personal information may do it if they think it will help them land a job. Then they get hit when they can least afford it.
The good news is that we're much more aware of identity theft than we used to be. Victims are catching on sooner and fighting back right away, limiting the damage.
But it's so easy to get fooled. So, whether it's online, over the phone or in person, if you're not extra cautious you may get a full-time job you didn't apply for: repairing your credit report.