November 13, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2012 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009
Businesses should not respond to emails from “@detma.org”
AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) has learned of an identity theft scam that attempts to lure employers into providing sensitive employee information. Emails have been sent to businesses in at least 10 states, including New York and Massachusetts.
The scam attempts to trick employers into responding to an email looking as if it is sent from New York’s “Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA).” The email, which looks similar to legitimate job separation requests used by the New York agency, requests wage and separation information on a “former employee” trying to file a claim for unemployment benefits and directs the employer to click on a link to an embedded website address. The New York State Department of Labor did not send the email.
The email is generic and does not reference specific employees or businesses by name. However, the link in the email takes users to a website in South Africa.
Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette warned businesses, “Please be alert to suspicious emails and call us anytime if you have questions. We want to protect businesses and workers; this scam jeopardizes the financial security of both. Don’t respond or click on the link in any email from @detma.org.”
“If you believe your identity has been compromised, please contact local law enforcement and take steps to protect your identity and that of your employees,” she added.
Maine’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation (BUC) does not send out unsolicited emails requesting confidential information. Neither does it collect information on behalf of other state’s unemployment systems.
If you are contacted by the BUC via email, it will include a specific reference to your business and your specific employee and be signed by a person employed by the BUC with their contact information.
Businesses who think they might have been targeted should contact Maine’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation at (207) 621-5100.