Beware: Unemployment scam targets Maine employers

As if business owners didn’t already have enough to worry about, the Maine Department of Labor is warning employers that an online scam involving unemployment insurance is making the rounds.

Within the past few days, employers in Maine and New Hampshire have received emails coming from a state’s “Division of Unemployment Assistance” and asking for sensitive information about a “former employee” trying to file a claim for unemployment benefits. The email looks similar to legitimate requests used by state unemployment agencies, according to a media release from the Maine labor department.

The emails are generic, don’t reference specific employees or businesses by name, and ask employers to click on a link that takes them to a website originating in South Africa.

Maine’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation does not send out unsolicited emails requesting confidential information, nor does it collect information on behalf of other state’s unemployment systems.

“This scam is coming close to home for Maine employers,” said Maine Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette. “Beware of suspicious emails and call us anytime if you have questions.”

The emails come from All emails from Maine’s labor department or unemployment bureau will end in, Paquette points out.

Businesses that think they might have been targeted should contact Maine’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation at (207) 621-5100. If a business owner has turned over confidential info, contact your local law enforcement agency.

Whit Richardson

About Whit Richardson

Whit Richardson is Business Editor at the Bangor Daily News. He blogs about Maine business, entrepreneurs and the economy.