AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The Maine Department of Labor is alerting unemployed job seekers to beware of a new scam.
They were alerted to the con just a week ago and are trying to prevent anyone getting taken advantage of in the future. Scammers are using Maine's JobLink website to contact job seekers and offer them remote jobs working for a Texas hospital — but it's all a lie.
The Labor Department said that this particular scam has some obvious warning signs.
“There's particular things that happened in this situation that make it obviously very fishy,” said the department's communications director, Julie Rabinowitz.
"Dear Job Seeker," the email reads. "Your resume was shortlisted for an online interview with the President and Chief Executive Officer…"
According to Rabinowitz, the CEO of a very large business like a hospital system is not going to be conducting interviews. That was just one of the signs that alerted job seekers to this recent scam.
The others? Interviews over Google Hangout text messaging, and rushing job applicants to start work and buy equipment. Rabinowitz said the scammer/employer was offering to get them a check cut.
She said that scammers used the federal and state identification numbers of a Maine consulting firm to enter the JobLink website, which posts state and national jobs for unemployed people in Maine.
“Every once in a while, an employer will not be legitimate and will try to use access to that system to contact individuals and offer them employment in the hopes of luring them in to give personal or financial information,” Rabinowitz said.
The job seekers were being offered a fake job at a real hospital in Texas.
Rabinowitz said the scammers choose to impersonate a legitimate company, “because if you google the company, you get results. So it offers a sense of security to the job seeker.”
Luckily, one person alerted the Department of Education before any scammers took their money. Rabinowitz said this person was informed by the hospital in Texas that no interview had taken place with anyone on their staff, and that it was a scam.
Four people have been contacted by the scammer so far. The Labor Department encourages anyone contacted to forward the email to them at email@example.com, or call 629-7900.
They have reached out to Maine State Police, the US Dept. of Labor and the 16 other states that use the JobLink service to report this scam.
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