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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 9732
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I applied for a sales "job" online today (independent contractor).

Resolved Question:

I applied for a sales "job" online today (independent contractor). The company is called Patriot Group, LLC Shortly after I applied someone from the company called me and said they liked my resume and may be interested in signing me up as a contractor. The caller told me that they would have to do a background check first (because they are in the financial services sector) and for them to do that I'd need to fill out some paperwork. The paperwork requires my name, social security number and date of birth. They also need a copy of my driver's license and a voided check (to pay me). It seems strange that they would want to do what is probably an expensive background check BEFORE they interview me. I am very leery about sending them my SSN and other items mentioned. I did a bit of research on the company and I can share some of that research with you and send you the documents they want me to sign and attach the voided check and drivers license to if you want me to. Let me know. I'm not too comfortable about sending them all the information they requested. Is it normal to ask me for so much and to request it BEFORE they interview me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

My research reveals that Patriot Payment Group is a validly registered LLC in the state of Texas and has been so since September of 2011. SImilarly, their website domain has been registered for that same amount of time. I am also unable to find any scam reports regarding this company.

All of the above noted, I think it would be a very bad idea to provide all the requested information. Although I can find no information to suggest that Patriot Payment Group is a scam, I can find very little about this company other than what they themselves have posted online. In other words, they do not appear to be at all well established.

Their website has also been registered through a domain proxy, which conceals the true identity of the website owner. There are sometimes legitimate reasons for doing this, but domain proxies are most often used in scams whose pereptrators do not want to be tracked down.

Oddly, my research also reveals that the site is being hosted partially by servers located in the Netherlands. I am not sure what exactly to make from that but draw what inferences you will.

The information this company has requested from you is highly unusual for this stage in the application process. There is no reason they should need a voided check from you until you have actually been offered a job and cleared your background check. Furthermore, this sensitive personal information in the aggregate is all a scammer would need to do to commit devastating identity theft. In the wrong hands, this information could be used to empty your bank accounts, open up lines of credit, and a host of other nightmares you of course want to avoid at all costs.

I cannot allege that Patriot Payment Group is a scam because, as noted, there is simply no outright evidence of that. However, if a company were going around requesting this information (SS numbers, bank account numbers, drivers licenses, etc.) and selling it on the black market to other for the commission of identity theft, it would be EXTREMELY hard to trace back to the fake job company and you would not, in fact, see any scam reports directly linking this company to fraud.

For all the above reasons, I think it would be extremely wise for you to pass on providing the requested information now or at any other stage in the application process. Too many red flags have been raised and I don't think it would be a good idea to trust this company with all of your personal information.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 9732
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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