Pay attention to Scott Anglemyer, executive director of the Workforce Partnership one-stop career centers in the Kansas City, Mo., area.
"Be careful about job offers on sites like Craigslist," he warns. "We tend to find fraudulent job posts everywhere, but it's more prevalent on some sites than others because they're not moderated job sites."
Peggy Yates understands his message well. She applied for what looked like a good office clerical job posted on Craigslist and received a chatty e-mailed response from "Human Resources at Careers KontigoLLC.com."
The note went into detail about the job's duties and told her she was "extremely qualified" — "more so than the other 23 applicants."
But, the note continued, the company required a recent credit report from her and "heavily suggested" that she get a "no cost" report from freecreditreportusa2010.com.
You guessed it. The report wasn't free. Yates paid $96. The "company" didn't have a job. The phone number she was given didn't exist. And the fax number she was given went to an Enterprise Rent-A-Car office.
I Googled "KontigoLLC" and found a chain of similar complaints from job hunters who had received "human resources" or "HR" notes in response to applications.
With variations in names and job descriptions, all the letters read basically alike. And all requested a credit report before an interview could be held.
"Do not buy a credit report if asked like that during a job hunt," Anglemyer said. "If asked, it's probably not a real job."
It's very likely a scam to get job applicants' payments for allegedly free credit reports.
Yates has canceled the credit card she used, notified the FBI, called reputable companies that the fake employer claimed to do business with, joined LifeLock, a fee-based identity theft protection service, and called me.
Thanks, Peggy, for helping warn other job hunters.
Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at the Kansas City Star.