BBB warns of online job application scam

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Better Business Bureau reps say there’s a new scam that could steal your personal information, and money by just putting your resume out there. 

To understand this scam, it’s important to note that when you apply for a job online more than almost all resumes never even get seen by human eyes. 

Instead, they’re scanned by a piece of software called an Applicant Tracking System  (ATS.) If you’re ever asked to pay for this service that is the first red flag. 

For example, say you’re contacted by a headhunting company saying they found you on LinkedIn or another job search website.

“They entice you to send them a simple resume to start off with maybe a virtual interview,” said Brian Baca, president of Better Business Bureau in New Mexico. 

The request seems reasonable but then the “recruiter” directs you to a website where you can get the resume reformatted – that puts you at risk for what the BBB calls the “resume formatting scam.” These online employment scams are some of the most commonly reported. 

“That was the number two riskiest scam of 2022, where it took a median of $1,500 from our, from our consumers, and the scammers are just getting more and more inventive,” said Baca. 

Since this scam was recently detected, Baca says it hasn’t reached New Mexico yet, but it’s likely it will. 

“This is very early, and it falls right in line with the online scams,” Baca said. 

So how do you protect yourself?

  • First step is to research the offer, visit the company’s website or call them to see if the job posting actually exists. 
  • Never pay money for any resume formatting services.
  • Don’t be so quick to share your personal information, especially when it comes to your banking information. 
  • When it comes to formatting keep it simple, stick to traditional fonts like Times New Roman, and submit your resume as a Word document instead of a PDF. 

These are easy steps you don’t need to pay for.

If you think you fell victim to this scam or any other, you can report it using the scam tracker at