Here's the situation: we have this professor this semester who is an excellent teacher and is very friendly, but he has some ego issues. He promised a few of us internships at Princeton, Stanford, etc. and backed it up by saying he studied in those universities and has a lot of influence there.

Naturally we were drawn and submitted our CVs to him like he asked, but when we googled him, things failed to add up. He does have a few research papers to his name but has no obvious Princeton or Stanford association, so we're starting to suspect a scam.

My question is: should we be worried about identity theft, or some other scam since we gave him our CVs?

  • 20
    The info on your CVs is typically public information, so I'm not sure there is a privacy or ID theft risk.
    – schroeder
    Aug 31, 2015 at 18:59
  • We can't tell you whether the information on your CVs is an identity theft risk if you don't tell us what information is on your CVs -- but that said, schroeder's comment is likely to cover it, given what tends to occur on most CVs I've seen.
    – D.W.
    Sep 1, 2015 at 16:00

3 Answers 3


As a professor, he has surely access already to most of the personal information you may provide in a CV. So I do not see any problem inherent to identity theft.

Linkedin is an example where you can read the careers of known and unknown people to you.

However, in general, an attacker may use personal information for some social engineer procedure to get something (may be just information) illegally. Also, if you are American, writing your birthday on your CV (many do it) is a a bad thing (How dangerous is it to reveal your date of birth, and why?).

But coming back to your professor, he has nothing nefarious to do with your CV as most of information provided in it is already in his hands since the first day he started to teach you.

  • 8
    Writing your birth date on a CV in the US is bad, but for a completely different reason. Age discrimination is illegal in the US, and putting your birth date on your CV/Resume is likely to get your CV removed by the HR department to avoid any potential for the company being accused of age discrimination. Aug 31, 2015 at 20:37
  • 1
    Including your date of birth on your CV is not a common practice in the US, though too many people do have it on their LinkedIn profile anyway despite the risk of age discrimination.
    – Val
    Aug 31, 2015 at 22:01

What is so private about your CV, besides perhaps your phone number?

A scam might arise if the professor subjects you to a foot-in-the-door technique and later asks for "fees" to submit your application.

Foot in the door

So be mentally prepared to pull out of the deal the second you're asked for anything you're not fully comfortable with. But sending a CV shouldn't be a problem. Tons of people have CVs posted online.

  • 4
    This doesn't really address the question.
    – schroeder
    Aug 31, 2015 at 21:05
  • 2
    As I commented on the question, I'm not sure the question is a good fit for security.SE to begin with. Aug 31, 2015 at 23:04
  • 1
    +1 this may or may not address what may or may not be a reasonable question but it's d***ed true and useful for anyone on this site to keep in mind.
    – gowenfawr
    Sep 1, 2015 at 2:33
  • 3
    @schroeder I don't agree. The answer perfectly addresses the question, and uses a form of Social Engineering to do so. SE is inherently part of information security. Remember that humans are an inherent part of information security, so human behavior is an inherent part of information security. Sep 1, 2015 at 14:18
  • @Steve: the question has been put on hold. Sep 1, 2015 at 22:10

You seem to be confusing secrecy with security. Secrecy is only related to security when sensitive information is revealed.

I don't believe there's anything on a CV that anyone would consider secret. Identity theft normally requires somewhat private information, like Social Security numbers.

Consider that many people post their CV/Resume online publicly I don't think it's particularly valuable information.

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