Letter – 'Don't be duped' followupOnline job banks are a part of today’s era of electronic communication. Unfortunately, so are online phishing scams, which can defraud unsuspecting people of thousands of dollars.
To the editor:
Online job banks are a part of today’s era of electronic communication. Unfortunately, so are online phishing scams, which can defraud unsuspecting people of thousands of dollars.
Readers Jim and Peggy Brendel told their story of a near-miss in becoming victims of one of these costly online scams (April 1 Echo Press letter to the editor, “Don’t be duped”).
Mr. Brendel recounted that the perpetrators “had obtained my name off the Minnesota Unemployment Web site, where I had a resume posted.”
While there is no such Web site, the state does maintain an online job bank called MinnesotaWorks.net, an Internet-based self-service system for employers and job seekers.
I assure readers that the database that supports this Web site has not been compromised in any way, and that it contains security features that block unauthorized access. The “company” that contacted the Brendels is not registered on the Web site.
Rather, this is a common phishing scam, in which perpetrators use software to produce thousands of e-mail addresses to which they send fraudulent e-mails. They can pose as legitimate companies, and claim that they accessed your personal information from a credible source.
If you receive what you believe is a fraudulent e-mail, do not respond to it or open any attachments. Report the e-mail to the Federal Trade Commission’s toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) and your local authorities. For Internet security fraud awareness, please see www.
OnGuardOnline.gov, a Web site maintained by multiple government agencies.
We want the public to be secure in using our online tools that can, among other things, help job seekers find employment. We also want the public to be able to identify potential phishing scams so they can steer clear of them.
Kirsten Morell, communications director, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
St. Paul, MN