PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Department of Labor is sounding the alarm about a new email scam that has quickly circulated throughout the country, and has been successful at fooling people because it tries a new tactic.
According to Julie Rabinowitz, the department's communications director, the emails have been sent to businesses from scammers posing as unemployment agencies.
"It is a very vague email, and it just says 'we need information on your recently separated employees'," explained Rabinowitz. "It looks official enough, it uses the word separation which is really a word that unemployment agencies use and not people in the general public, and so it sounds official and businesses are being tricked into providing that information."
The emails are originate from an address ending @detma.org. The Department of Labor says clicking on any link within the email not only has the potential to expose former employees' personal information, but could also jeopardize the company's security as well.
"We don't want anyone's identity stolen, and we also don't want people to think that these are coming from the Maine Department of Labor," said Rabinowitz. "We only contact you if you have someone with an active unemployment claim, and that is really the only time we would be reaching out to people by email."
Rabinowitz says al emails from the Department of Labor are from @maine.gov. She says if people have questions, they should contact the department before sending any information.
"Call the Maine Department of Labor," she said. "Don't click a link and send stuff off and think that it is being taken care of."
"It is tricking the employers into providing employee information," she added. "So here is this employee who might have quit, might have been fired, might have been laid off, and their identity is being compromised. The business is believing they are doing the right thing, providing this information, meanwhile the employee has no idea."
"It is a doubly kind of bad situation that they are out of work and then their identity is being scammed only because the employer thinks that they are doing the right thing."