Fake Ga. Department of Labor website was seeking personal data

ajc.com

Georgia’s Department of Labor issued a warning against scams after a fake Facebook page this week mimicked the state DOL’s official site and tried to lure jobless people to provide personal information.

The site might have been online for several days, but was taken down early Wednesday after the DOL contacted Facebook, according to Kersha Cartwright, spokeswoman for the department.

Georgia’s Department of Labor has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. At first blush, the faux page was indistinguishable from the real thing, she said. “They had our header and our logo and they even shared some of the posts we had put up.”

In contrast to the department’s protocols, the fake website asked for claimants’ full Social Security numbers and copies of their drivers’ licenses. Cartwright said the DOL has social security numbers on file and would only ask for the last four digits.

It is unknown how many people provided their private information to the fake site, but some claimants commenting on the official DOL site admitted to being fooled.

Online scams can violate federal or state law, and the DOL notified law enforcement officials about the fake site, Cartwright said.

Since the pandemic began, the DOL has been coping with unprecedented numbers of jobless Georgians filing for unemployment benefits. Many of the jobless have been waiting weeks or months to receive payments or to be given a determination on their application.

Many of those waiting post on the DOL’s social media sites.

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