Fake ads in order to steal someone's identity could it be true?

A friend of mine is looking for a job while she finishes up her degree. So she's been applying to positions all over and came across the following posting on Craigslist. Then she got the response (posted after) and it all seems a little fishy to me. What is this world coming to? Your thoughts? Notice that the response and ad posting lists a gmail address rather than a company email address.

The posting:
Secretary Needed - Front Desk ($14/hour) + Full Dental
Reply to: (see message body)
Date: 2008-11-05, 8:49PM
Sun Valley Mortgage, located downtown, is seeking a receptionist/secretary to answer phones, schedule meetings, run company errands, etc. You must be reliable, 18+ years of age, and good at following directions. No previous experience is necessary. We offer great pay, full dental benefits after the first 90 days, a great work environment, flexible hours, and opportunity for promotion. If you are interested, please email me at r.petersonco@gmail.com.

Compensation: $14/hour plus full dental coverage
OK to highlight this job opening for persons with disabilities
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
Original URL:http://stlouis.craigslist.org/ofc/907569908.html

The response from the company:
From: Ryan Peterson
To:
Sent: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 9:29 pm
Subject: Re: Secretary

Hello, Thanks for the quick reply. The job is pretty straight forward. You will be answering the phone, scheduling meetings, and running company errands, but we really need someone to answer the phone. When running errands you will be provided with a company credit card. Due to bad experiences with this in the past, before we can send you an application, we need you to get a credit check. We prefer you use http://TheCreditCheckCompany.notlong.com to obtain this information. When you submit your information they will send you your credit check. When you email me your credit check I will send you your application. We have full and part time positions available. Send me your schedule and how many hours per week you plan on working. Looking forward to your response! Ryan Peterson Human Resources, Manager

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To give them the benefit of the doubt, they could be well intentioned and just going about this awkwardly. If I were her, I'd email back and say something like, "I have no problem doing a credit check before you extend an offer, but I'm not comfortable sharing personal information like that until we decide if there's mutual interest. I'd prefer to apply and interview first, then do the credit check. If that works for you, please let me know."

That's the norm. Seems a little odd that they have multiple reception openings though. I'd investigate this company further if I were her.
That's a great point. I have not however been able to find a company by that name anywhere in St. Louis.

pam claughton said:
To give them the benefit of the doubt, they could be well intentioned and just going about this awkwardly. If I were her, I'd email back and say something like, "I have no problem doing a credit check before you extend an offer, but I'm not comfortable sharing personal information like that until we decide if there's mutual interest. I'd prefer to apply and interview first, then do the credit check. If that works for you, please let me know."

That's the norm. Seems a little odd that they have multiple reception openings though. I'd investigate this company further if I were her.
Sounds like a scam to me.
I'd say I'm willing to use a personal debit card and get reimbursed.
Don't bother searching the company on this one.. search the email... check this out. Scam, Scam, Scam (IMHO): http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=r.petersonco@gmail.com&...
Great job Jim! I hadn't even thought to do that.

Jim - medXcentral said:
Don't bother searching the company on this one.. search the email... check this out. Scam, Scam, Scam (IMHO): http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=r.petersonco@gmail.com&...
It should be reported to Craigslist- they can check things out quickly and they want their reputation to stay intact
Hi Vikki;
Unfortunately there are no good intentions this is one way for identity theft a credit check application has all the data required to steal ones credit.
1st of all any job posting on Craigslist with a personal email address is more than likely a scam...
As you know companies that require good credit standing (from a candidate) will take the proper steps after they have identified a candidate they wish to hire.
Hi Vikki;
Just checked Craigslist, the posting was flagged and removed
When you run into these things please forward/send to the US Gov't
here is the email: soc@us-cert.gov
NEVER EVER EVER give credit information to anyone posting a job on Craigslist or anywhere for that matter until you've gotten the position. And even then I would be suspect. If they are indeed giving you a company credit card then it goes on the companies credit NOT yours. If they are that concerned about handing out a company credit card then they should get a pre-paid credit card that has daily spending limits built in.

If you are really in doubt call Cusmer Credit Hotline in your area, in San Francisco one of the News Stations has "7 On Your Side " Michael Finney is a consumer advocate and his site lists tons of these types of credit scams that take place. And if you happen to fall for one of them they will actually investigate it for you and try to get your money back. Also check and report this to the BBB in your area and of course notify Craigslist that their "hiring practices" (if they are legit which I highly doubt) need updating.

Jeff Weidner
Thanks. I use that technique as a method to research "junk" registrations in my system from software bots (before I had CAPTCHA in my forms).

Vikki Hawkins said:
Great job Jim! I hadn't even thought to do that.

Jim - medXcentral said:
Don't bother searching the company on this one.. search the email... check this out. Scam, Scam, Scam (IMHO): http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=r.petersonco@gmail.com&...
Craigslist is suspect.

It's the "Anything goes" space on the web . . . and yep, anything really goes!

A buddy of mine got caught up in an FBI sting when he went to sell a car to a group of criminals/carjackers that replied to his listing on Craigslist . . . I love that story.

"Good times, good times" :)
It's sleazy, but rather than identity theft, it's an affiliate program for the site you eventually land on.
The person running the Craigslist ad gets a commission from any product/service your friend eventually buys at the credit reporting site. That's my guess.

Of course, there is no real job available.

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