Scam of the day – November 23, 2012 – Division of Unemployment Assistance scam

Today’s scam of the day comes directly from my email box as well as that of many other people.  It indicates that it is from the “Division of Unemployment Assistance” which sounds official although in my home state there is no state agency that has that title.  The subject line of the email reads “Action Required – Time Sensitive Material” and certainly is an attention grabber.  It goes on to say that a former employee has filed a claim for benefits and requests certain information be sent electronically by clicking on links provided.  The email further carries a sense of urgency because it indicates that if the informaiton is not provided in a timely fashion, I would lose my right to appeal any decision made by the agency.  Certainly people who are not employers will recognize immediately that this is a scam, however, people who are employers may be tempted to respond to the email.  Don’t.  If you do you can end up a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

Some of the indications that the email is a scam include that it does not name either the employee seeking benefits or the name of the company to which the email is directed.  In addition, the email contains only text without any logo for a particular state agency.  Finally, in my case and perhaps in yours, the agency is misnamed.  In Massachusetts, for instance the agency is the “Department of Unemployment Assistance” not the “Division of Unemployment Assistance.”  Clicking on the link can result in your either downloading a dangerous keystroke logging program that can steal all of the information from your computer and making you a victim of identity theft or your providing personal information through a phony form page you are taken to when you click on the link whereby the information you provide can lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft.  If you have any concerns that the email may be legitimate, call your state agency at a telephone number that you know is accurate and inquire as to whether indeed the notice was legitimate.  You will find that it was not.