For Immediate Release
Date: April 23, 2021
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations - firstname.lastname@example.org
State Labor Dept: Beware of Scammers Attempting to Collect Personal Information
Recent ID.me email scam cited as one example of criminals preying on claimants
(DENVER) — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) is warning claimants and the general public to be aware of scammers trying to collect their personal information. As the volume of claimants requesting unemployment benefits has dramatically increased during the pandemic, so has the amount of identity theft, fraudulent activity, and unemployment insurance-related scams.
The department discovers several new types of scams each week. The most recent discovery involves a phishing email posing as CDLE asking claimants to complete ID.me within the next 24 hours. CDLE’s official emails ask claimants to complete ID.me by a certain date or within ten days — not 24 hours. The fraudulent email looks nearly identical to official emails CDLE sends but is being sent from a suspicious email address: "cdle_ui@sta. sg." Authentic ID.me emails sent by CDLE will come from the address: email@example.com.
“It’s terrible to see so many criminal attempts to steal personal information from people who are already vulnerable and under stress,” said CDLE Deputy Executive Director and Chief Communications Officer Cher Haavind. “We want to help educate our claimant community to be able to identify the red flags of suspicious activity and feel confident when they do receive an official communication from us that they can trust in its legitimacy.”
CDLE shares suspicious activity and potential scams with local and federal law enforcement agencies. The department is also notifying claimants directly to be on the lookout for potential scams and has the following advice and additional resources on the UIDailyDashboard:
Types of Scams:
- Phishing scams are fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information, such as Social Security Numbers, usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, or other personally identifiable information. Oftentimes, phishing scams take the form of emails, text messages, or social media accounts impersonating a trustworthy entity.
- CDLE does not require or accept any payment for the submission or processing of unemployment claims. If you receive a message that asks you to pay a fee in order to receive unemployment benefits, disregard the message without clicking any links. It’s a scam.
- Scammers occasionally create fake social media accounts which impersonate CDLE and may contact claimants seeking personal information. CDLE will never ask you for any personally identifiable information via social media. Look for a blue or white verified account check mark next to the page or profile name on the social media.
How to Identify Potential Scams:
- Check the sender’s email address.
Official communication from CDLE will come from an email address ending in state.co.us. Most come from: firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is an example of a suspicious email address: "email@example.com."
- Check for suspicious URLs.
Pay close attention to the URLs within a hyperlink. Scammers will often change one letter, number, or misspell a word within a URL. In authentic ID.me emails sent by CDLE, the green “Begin Identity Verification” button will direct you to the ID.me page on CDLE’s website (https://cdle.colorado.gov/idme). If this button directs you to any other website — including a website which may look like the ID.me application — then the email is a phishing scam.
- Consider unreasonable requests.
Neither CDLE or ID.me will contact you via text message or social media about ID.me identity verifications.
Authentic ID.me emails sent by CDLE will ask claimants to complete the ID.me identity verification process either before a specific date or within ten days. If an email tells you that you must verify your identity “within the next 24 hours,” then the email is a phishing scam.
- Check for typos and broken language.
For more consumer protection information and to report suspicious activity, please visit www.stopfraudcolorado.gov.
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