Indiana News

Workforce Development asks jobless claimants to report fraud attempts

Fred Payne (podium) is the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)  – Scammers are sending emails using the names of companies or individuals familiar to recent claimants for unemployment insurance benefits, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

To report an allegation of fraud involving unemployment, please visit Workforce Development’s fraud reporting webpages: one for individuals and another for employers. Individuals can also report fraud allegations by mail — Department of Workforce Development; Benefit Payment Control Section; 10 North Senate Avenue, Room SE105; Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 — or by fax at 317-234-2932. Workforce Development does not have a way to forward the email for further action.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General has discovered that scammers are sending emails in an effort to steal claimants’ passwords, account numbers, Social Security numbers or a combination of those. With the information, scammers can gain access to email, bank or other accounts.

The scammers are using familiar icons, folder names, and programs to trick claimants into providing their personal information to them.

Claimants can protect themselves by hovering over the links scammers include in the emails, but not clicking on it, to see where it will take them. Most scammers will use a URL shortened to hide the website’s true identity. You can also call the sender to inquire if the email is legitimate.

The links send the victim to a webpage, which looks like a Microsoft SharePoint website. It further requires the user to sign-in using a Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo! or other user account.

Once you have signed into a personal account, the scammers will obtain your username and password. They will have access to the files you have stored online and your contact lists. They may use this contact list to send the same scam email to your friends and family.

The scammers may use your personal information to collect unemployment insurance in your name or change your bank account number to one of their own.

Indiana Workforce Development said it does not require claimants to use a secondary account to sign into its online filing system called Uplink.