State Labor office warns of phishing scam

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Oct 08 2013 05:22:00 PM HST

The state labor department began urging furloughed federal workers to file online after thousands overwhelmed the unemployment office last week when they tried to go down in person. But fake websites began springing up, trying to get potential victims to divulge personal information like social security numbers.

HONOLULU -

 Jeffrey Pedersen is an unemployed construction worker who was disgusted to learn of the phishing scam.

"The fact that someone's trying to perpetrate scams on someone who is having a hard time.  It's terrible. It's a horrible thing," said Pederson.

According to labor officials, bogus websites using the state of Hawaii seal

are trying to get potential victims to divulge personal information like Social Security numbers.

The labor department only found out about this yesterday. Someone called in wondering if a certain website was legititate.Turns out it wasn’t.

There are seven different pages appearing to be linked to the state labor offices from Kailua-Kona to Kaunakakai.

"Some of these websites try and get personal information and some of them try to  get money. So they are not government- approved websites. They are scam websites. We only have one legitimate state govenment  website and that is uiclaims. hawaii.gov" said state unemployment supervisor Ellen Kai.

This is the only  official site of the Hawaii Labor Department.

It is not clear how long the bogus sites have been up on the Internet and whether they were set up to trick furloughed federal workers since there are so many affected employees from all across the country.

But anyone trolling for information about filing unemployment could be duped into this phishing scam.

  Jeffrey Pederson is one of scores of laid off hotel and construction workers who spent hours at the Waipahu office last week and this week.

 “Four and a half hours today, and plus the little time I was here yesterday, and then on Friday," said Pedersen.

And while many federal employees have been called back to work and the lines are shorter, officials believe doing the paperwork online is still the most  efficient way to get in the system.

Provided of course, you are on the right website.

Hawaii Labor officials did try to notify the Federal labor office in San Francisco about the bogus websites, but those workers have been furloughed.

If you think you may have been a victim you should contact the labor office at 586- 8844.

It will help investigators build a case to go after those behind the scheme.

 

 

  

 

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