Scammer Posing as Maine Employer Attempts to Gain Personal Information from Job Seekers Bookmark and Share

May 9, 2014

For Immediate Release: May 9, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, julie.rabinowitz@maine.gov, cell: 557-1483, office: 621-5009

Commissioner of Labor warns job seekers to report odd hiring practices involving creating new email accounts and interviews by instant messaging

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette warns job seekers about a scam that Department of Labor staff detected today via a posting on the Maine Job Bank.

The scammer, through a false posting on the Maine Job Bank, used Central Maine Medical Center’s name and federal employer identification number, to advertise for an administrative assistant and a bookkeeper. When job seekers accepted the referral from the Job Bank, the scammer contacted them by email, indicating how to follow up. Subsequent communication asked for financial information.

A concerned applicant contacted Job Bank staff Friday morning, and staff immediately closed the suspicious account and contacted CMMC. The department then contacted each of the 40 individuals who were sent automatic referrals for the two positions. Of these, four have been confirmed to have communicated with the company, but none of the four provided any financial information to the scammer.

Commissioner Paquette stated, “We have about 8,000 jobs on the Maine Job Bank, and all of those employers have been vetted by the department. This instance is troubling because they are impersonating a legitimate Maine employer. We have notified the Maine Attorney General’s office, the U.S. Department of Labor and other states so that the national Job Bank referral system can be on alert for similar postings to protect job seekers. We are working closely with CMMC and the state Office of Information Technology to investigate this incident.”

The initial email sent to job seekers who replied to the referral says [errors in original]:

Your resume has been reviewed. You're now being referred to Mrs Mary Bartlett. Of ( Westfield Group LTD) To conduct an online briefing and interview. To get started. You are required to setup an account with yahoo.com That is if you don't have one. You then add or instant message Mrs Mary Bartlett, via yahoo IM. ID is ( marybartlett389@yahoo.com ) to get you started with the briefing and Interview process. follow up instruction as soon as this is received. She should be waiting read from you.

Commissioner Paquette noted, “Job seekers should continue to register with the Maine Job Bank and continue to use legitimate online job banks to search for work, because that is the modern method of job hunting. However, if people are asking you to create brand new email accounts in order to apply for a job, do not bother with a face-to-face interview or want to interview you through an instant messaging system, that should raise big red flags.”

She emphasized, “If you have questions about a job posting, do not hesitate to contact the Department of Labor or your local CareerCenter to find out more information about that job or to report a suspicious posting. Protect yourself by asking to meet a potential employer in person before agreeing to work for them and never give out your personal information over the phone or email to an unverified person.”

People who have seen similar emails relating to any job application from any job board, not just the Maine Job Bank, should call the Maine Department of Labor at 207-623-7900 (TTY users dial Maine Relay 711).

The Maine Job Bank, free for both employers and job seekers, is available at https://gateway.maine.gov/dol/mjb/jobseeker/jobseekerwelcome.aspx . Job seekers looking for additional assistance in finding their next job or training should visit their local CareerCenter or go to http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

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